10 Best Fold Up under $500 - What's Hot in 2017

Best Fold Up Treadmills

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Best Fold Up Treadmills [Under $500]
Best Fold Up Treadmills [Under $500]

You want a fold up treadmill that will give you a health club style workout, but in the comfort of your own home. No problem HTR has the 10 best below.

You want a fold up treadmill that makes you run like a gazelle being chased by a lion. You want one to take a pounding like Mario in Donkey Kong. You want it to have programs that help you lose weight, cross train, get ready for a marathon, and get you “heart-healthy,” all in the shortest time possible. And at the end of your trek, you want your unit to easily collapse so it can be put in your closet waiting patently for you to do it again tomorrow. Oh and you want all of that for less than $500…

Ten years ago we would have said just join a gym. Five years ago we would have said get a bigger apartment. Today, we’ve got you covered. Welcome to Hot Ten Reviews 10 Best Fold Up Treadmills Under $500.

Why do people purchase a treadmill for small spaces? There are at least four reasons that we can think of:

  • They need the space in their home for other things;
  • They are time constrained and don’t have the extra minutes in their day to travel to and from the gym;
  • They are worried about their weight and don’t want to go out in public until they are in better shape;
  • They want to roll out right of bed and into a workout or they won’t do it;

Treadmill – The Age Reverser

It wasn’t long ago that people were largely immobile by the time they reached their late 60s or early 70s. They’d hobble around and get more and more frail, until one day it all came to an end. Then in 1952 the “medical treadmill” was invented and a few lucky people were invited to try it out. By the 1960s it was a mainstay at the Jack LaLanne health clubs popping up all over California, and people were staying younger longer out west. Today, people are literally getting younger every year as they embark on a later life fitness program and those lucky enough to start early are attacking every day with vigor. A treadmill works all body parts, increases energy, dramatically improves mental faculty, cuts weight quickly and has a host of other benefits too numerous to mention. But until recently they were just too big to have at home so you had to go to the gym.

Enter the small treadmill…

By definition, people who shop in this category are looking for the smallest treadmill. Foldable units, are the best compact treadmills because they can roll right into a closet when you’re done.  These treadmills used to be flimsy, fly by night pieces of metal with no motor.  They broke down after a few workouts. That was the 1980s! Today our top choices are every bit as strong as their stationary brethren.

#1 Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill – $329.00 (9.0/10)

Weslo Cadence 5.2

Hot Ten Reviews Top Overall Choice

The problem with buying folding treadmills at a gym equipment store…

The challenge you face is that if you walk into your local gym equipment store, they’ll have a great selection of full sized treadmills that cost thousands of dollars, and almost none of them want to sell you a folding treadmill. Why? Because even the best of the best fold up treadmills cost under $1000 and if you’re smart you can get yours for under $500 (J)! Many people who build a home gym are looking for terrific looking equipment because they can afford it – those that can’t just join a health-club with similar premium equipment.

This means the “walk in” market for foldable treadmills is very limited. Yes they will carry one or two, probably still high end, (and probably not the best value), but when it comes down to it, these units are likely just extensions of the two or three lines that the gym equipment store already carries.  The fact is if a full sized “Life Fitness” Treadmill cost $2995 (i.e. their typical demographic), it’s unlikely they will offer a great fold-up option for $299 (1/10th the price) at the same store.

Workout equipment stores don’t want you to buy the least expensive option, so many don’t give you a compelling choice at the low end. That’s where Hot Ten Reviews comes in. We will.

The fact is many fitness equipment manufacturers do offer a very good fold-up treadmill at a reasonable price – but you need to know what to look for. Here is what we feel is important and also what we measured for the 10 Best Fold Up Treadmills of 2016 – Under $500

Maximum speed – this is either really important to you, or not important at all. Here’s why. There are two types of people who buy these space saving treadmills: runners and walkers. If you’re a runner, then you need one that has a top end speed faster than you run. If you’re a walker (and that’s all you’ll ever be), then we recommend the Exerpeutic Fitness Walking Electric Treadmill (circa $299 – #6 below) with a top speed of 4 mph and maximum weight of 350 lbs. However, before you jump to purchase that treadmill, note that most walkers do want their treadmill to have a run option, if only because guests
in their home might want to run.

Supports your weight – people buying any small treadmill (folding or other) need to be particularly focused on this. Most of these units cannot support weight much over 250-275 lbs. We recommend taking the top end weight and subtracting 10-15 pounds as the real maximum. Why? Because sometimes people gain weight, and you don’t want to buy one that is “on the edge” only to find that it can’t support you after you have a great “winter holiday” feasting season.

Horsepower – horsepower in a treadmill is important because a stronger motor runs at lower RPMs. Lower RPMs means the unit lasts longer and the treadmill runs more quietly.

Belt width – you want the widest belt width possible. Why? Because you don’t want to feel like you are running on a rail. It’s also safer to have a treadmill with a wide belt.

Fitness programs – many people just set the treadmill to one speed and then go. Others like programs that help them lose weight, build heart strength and a variety of other options. This is strictly an individual choice.

Cushion deck – sometimes called a “flex deck.” All treadmills have a little give as you run, but some decks are designed to lessen the impact on your joints even more. Many small fold-up treadmills now have a cushion/flex deck as a standard feature.

Incline – many fold up treadmills just don’t offer it. This is because people don’t often use it. However our top recommendations have this as a feature. If this is important to you, those on offer here incline up to 10%.

Price – All treadmills listed in this review cost less than $500. Our top 3 recommendations are each less than $350.

Fold-up measurements* – We assume that you are buying a fold up treadmill to fit under a bed or in a closet. Most fold vertically and roll into a closet.

A standard front hall closet depth is: 21” deep, “floor to hanger pole” of about 66” high and a door width of about 24” This means the fold up size of the treadmill for that closet needs to be less than 21x24x66. Note that the first two measurements are interchangeable (you can always roll the treadmill in sideways), but the height is not. Also note that bedroom closets are usually wider.

*Note that we do provide the exact fold up measurements of all units, but don’t rate compactness (i.e. 1 to 10 scale) as part of the overall rating because closet sizes and storage areas vary, and what’s important to you may not be important to others and vice versa.

Phew! With that as a backdrop, we are please to present:

HTR’s 10 Best Fold Up Treadmills of 2017 – Under $500

 buy3#1 Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill – $329.00 (9.0/10)


Maximum speed ★★★★★★★★★

Weslo Cadence 5.2Maximum weight ★★★★★★★★

Horsepower ★★★★★★★★★

Belt width ★★★★★★★★★

Fitness programs ★★★★★★★★★

Cushion deck ★★★★★★★★★

Incline ★★★★★★★★★

Price ★★★★★★★★★

The Weslo Cadence R 5.2 is out #1 choice overall. This fold up treadmill has a maximum speed of 10 mph, supports 250 lbs, has a 2.5 hp motor, a 16 inch belt width, 6 fitness programs (3 weight loss, 2 intensity and 1 manual speed setting), a cushion deck which reduces wear and tear on joints by up to 30% and 3 manual incline settings: Flat, 6% and 10%. 

Fold-up measurements – 29” wide x 56” tall x 30” deep

[Read Full Review]

buy3#2 Merit Fitness 725T Plus Treadmill
– $454.91 (8.88/10)


Maximum speed ★★★★★★★★★

Merit Fitness 725T PlusMaximum weight ★★★★★★★★

Horsepower ★★★★★★★★★

Belt width ★★★★★★★★

Fitness programs ★★★★★★★★★

Cushion deck ★★★★★★★★★

Incline ★★★★★★★★★

Price ★★★★★★★★★

If money is not your main decision factor, the Merit 725T Plus treadmill is probably the model for you. This fold up treadmill has a maximum speed of 10 mph, can support 250 lbs, has a 2.25 hp motor, has an 18 inch belt width, seven different fitness programs, a cushion deck, and an electric push button adjustable incline which raises up to 10% on the fly.

Fold-up measurements – 31” wide x 53” tall x 34” deep

[Read Full Review]

buy3#3 Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill – $287.00 (8.75/10)


Maximum speed ★★★★★★★★★

Maximum weight ★★★★★★★★★

Horsepower ★★★★★★★★★

Belt width ★★★★★★★★★

Fitness programs ★★★★★★★★★

Cushion deck ★★★★★★★★★

Incline ★★★★★★★★★

Price ★★★★★★★★★

buy3#4 TMS® 600w Folding Electric Treadmill Portable Motorized Running Machine – $259.99 (8.63/10)


buy3#5 Confidence GTR Power Pro Motorized Electric Treadmill with adjustable incline $500 (7.56/10)


buy3#6 Exerpeutic Fitness Walking Electric Treadmill  $269.99(7.50/10)


buy3#7 ALPINE© 1.7HP Folding Electric Treadmill Portable Motorized Running Fitness Machine $269.00 (7.50/10)


buy3#8 Auwit AUW-501 1100W Series Electric Motorized Folding Treadmill – $279.95 (7.26/10)


buy3#9 Merax JK1603E Easy Assembly Folding Electric Treadmill Motorized Running Machine – $198 (7.13/10)


buy3#10 Goplus 500w Folding Portable Electric Treadmill – $257.00  (6.83/10)



Now that you know what the best fold up treadmills look like, you just need to muster up the motivation to get in and go! So click on a few of the folding treadmills listed here and see for yourself what they look like in action! Also don’t forget to read the individual reviews (good and bad) on Amazon.com. We find this particularly useful when making buying decisions.

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