Running or walking on a treadmill at a 0° gradient is fine for getting a good cardio workout and losing weight. However, those who at least part of the time run or walk outdoors, know that it is not the same. Even flat locations will have a few small inclines at least. The benefits of incline walking and running include building lower body strength and losing weight at a faster rate because the calories burned walking on a treadmill with incline will be more. Marathon runners use incline treadmills as part of their indoor training regimens. So, if you want to mimic the outdoor running experience, get yourself the best incline treadmill for home use that you can afford.
Another fast way to lose weight is by doing interval training, where your workout includes a mix of short intense activity and longer recovery activity. This can be easily done indoors on a treadmill, especially if you have one with good incline. If you want to try this, we can recommend a few treadmills that are especially good for interval training at home.
For strength or marathon training, an incline of at least 12% and preferably also a 2-3% decline is required. You can even get models with up to 15% incline.
Before we proceed with our incline treadmill reviews, you should know that these are not the same as incline trainers, because you may come across those as well. An incline trainer is a hybrid of an elliptical, stair stepper and treadmill. Incline trainers top out at 40% incline, as you climb more than you move forward, and your feet don’t leave the treads or footplates. If you want to mimic hiking, then choose an incline trainer vs. a treadmill for that. Do read our guide for more information on treadmill features and how to choose one.
- 1 Compare the Best Incline Treadmills for Home Use
- 2 Best Incline Treadmill Under $500
- 3 Best incline treadmill under $1000
- 4 Best Over $1000
Compare the Best Incline Treadmills for Home Use
|Product||Rating (out of 5)||Decline & Incline settings||Speed Low-High||Continuous horse power||Tread belt size||Footprint||Max. User Capacity||Price|
|Weslo Cadence G 5.9||3.9||2 settings||0-10 mph||2.25 chp||16" x 50"||64"L x 24"W x 55"H||275 lbs||$|
|Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603||4.3||3 settings||0-9 mph||unknown||16" x 49"||62"L x 27"W x 47"H||220 lbs||$|
|NordicTrack C 990||3.5||0 to 12%||0-12 mph||3.0 chp||20" x 60"||78.3"L x 35.75"W x 6.4"H||300 lbs||$$$|
|LifeSpan TR1200i||4.0||15 levels||0.5-11 mph||2.5 chp||20" x 56"||70.25" L x 33" W x 55" H||300 lbs||$$$|
|ProForm Pro 2000||4.2||-3% to 15%||0-12 mph||3.5 chp||22" x 60"||80”L x 39.5”W x 63”H||350 lbs||$$$$|
|3G Cardio 80i||4.7||0 to 15%||0.5-11 mph||3 chp||18.5″ x 58″||74″L x 33″W x 49″H||325 lbs||$$$$$|
Best Incline Treadmill Under $500
These two budget picks here also feature in our list of treadmills under $500 overall.
Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill
The first option on our list is the Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill. If you’re looking for comfort and convenience at a low price, then this may be just the right treadmill for you. It features a simple-to-use folding design that allows for easy storage and keeps the machine out of the way when not in use. Cushioned handle bars provide both comfort and stability as your exercise. Additionally, Comfort Cell Cushioning has been built into the belt itself, so your workout routine will be easy on your feet and joints. In fact, we rate it as the best budget cushioned treadmill on the market.
The Cadence G 5.9 features six unique workouts that are built right into the machine. These workouts have been designed by certified personal trainers, and each one can help you with your own personal weight loss and fitness goals. The incline is manually adjustable to two different positions. You can keep an eye on your heart rate, that is measured through thumb pulse sensors, and how close to your goals you are getting, all on the treadmill’s blue LCD display screen.
This treadmill may not be best-suited for serious and everyday runners. For tall people, the handles are a bit low and the belt width is a bit narrow even though it is long enough. The incline settings are just the effect of collapsing the rear legs, so it’s only meant for a slight boost. The belt and motor are not as durable as some other models, and constant use may lead to the machine needing repairs in a relatively short amount of time.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Electric Treadmill
Another great value treadmill is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603. Like the Weslo Cadence G 5.9, this treadmill can be folded up so that it doesn’t take up too much floor space when not in use. The 2.2 peak HP motor is fine for a machine in this price range, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot, as continuous horse power is more important for long term use and that is something the manufacturer does not specify. The machine can handle a maximum weight capacity of 200 lbs.
The SF-T7603 puts 9 different workout programs right at your fingertips, with each catering to different goals like weight loss, muscle gain, and more. The incline is manually adjustable at three different levels, allowing you to have complete control over your workout’s intensity.The treadmill’s display screen helps you keep track of your progress as your run. A great convenience feature on this model is the handrail control buttons. These allow you to remain stable while adjusting your workout mid-stride.
It is recommended that you use this treadmill gently, as there have been issues with the motor and belt’s longevity and durability. However, this is expected in this price range, and the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 is still a good value and product. The top comments from users is that it is a good option for small spaces and that it is very easy to assemble.
Best incline treadmill under $1000
NordicTrack C 990 Treadmill
A worthwhile option for those looking to buy a treadmill between $500 and $1000 is the NordicTrack C 990 3CHP Treadmill. This model has several features that set it apart from the options listed above. The 20-inch x 60-inch belt features a safety tread that prevents slipping and makes the belt more durable that cheaper alternatives. The machine also features a larger motor case, which makes for a much quieter and less shaky workout. Like the other options, the NordicTrack can be folded. For those looking for a deck with cushioning, we chose this model as one of the best. Not only does it have shock absorbing features, but you can also disengage the cushioning whenever you want to mimic a more realistic on-road experience.
The programs on this model also far surpass the more budget-friendly options. The NordicTrack C 990 features 32 unique workout programs that focus on just about whatever your goals are. Inclination can be adjusted anywhere from 0-12% to add intensity to your workout. This is controlled with just the push of a button and requires absolutely no manual adjustments. The display on this treadmill is a 7-inch touchscreen that allows for web access and complete control of your goals and machine. It also comes with an auto-adjust fan that cools according to how fast you’re running.
Because this model features web capabilities, it may not be as user-friendly as more simple and straightforward operations. Network connectivity may be an issue for some.
LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill
The LifeSpan TRI2001 Folding Treadmill is the most sturdy and durable product listed so far. While it has slightly less HP than the above option – 2.5HP rather than 3HP – it features a solid steel construction and a deck suspension system with shock absorbers capable of supporting up to 300 lbs. The 20-inch x 56-inch belt and surface can be folded up with the aid of a hydraulic system.
This particular treadmill features 21 different workouts and 15 levels of incline, although the highest level isn’t as much as some other models. These workouts are designed to target goals such as weight loss, general health, heart rate, and more. You can measure your heart rate in two ways – by contact sensors or by chest strap receiver. If you prefer to count steps taken instead of the usual fitness metrics, like distance covered, then it has a special pedometer-like Intelli-Step system.
The display on this machine is multi-colored and lets you keep track of your goals without having to stop.
The console itself is large, giving you enough room to rest a book or tablet as you exercise. Additionally, this treadmill is USB compatible, so you can download your stats and keep track of your progress over time.
Some users mention that it’s a little difficult to put the machine together but is fine if you follow the instructions properly. The display is also not as intuitive in the beginning.
If you can spend over $1000, then choose the slightly higher powered Lifespan TR3000i model instead.
Best Over $1000
ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill
If you’re looking for a treadmill in a higher price range, then the ProForm Pro 2000 is a great option that is safe, feature-packed, and durable. This model has a strong 3.5 CHP motor that can withstand everyday workouts and serious runs. The belt and running platform are properly cushioned and suspended to be easier on your joints, as explained here.
The ProForm Pro 2000 features 32 workouts that you can choose from depending on what you’re wanting to accomplish. The console displays easy-to-navigate controls for 12 different speeds and an incline up to 15%, which is ideal for raising heart rate, losing weight, and building muscle. This is a treadmill that inclines and declines, as it goes down to a negative gradient of 3% as well. It comes with an included Polar® Wireless chest strap to accurately monitor your heart rate.
The display screen is in full color and can connect to the web. There’s a pocket that will hold a magazine or tablet. It is compatible with the iFit tracking app, so you can select from one of the pre-programmed itinerary maps or draw your own terrain map using Google Maps. The quick touch controls allows you to switch between speeds and inclines seamlessly and you can also make micro-adjustments if you need to. You can never get bored this way!
For storage, hydraulic springs make folding the deck easy.
The one drawback of this treadmill is that the console display constantly advertises for the iFit app, which can be annoying for users who don’t have or want to use the app. The console also has network and web complications from time to time.
3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill
The final treadmill on this list is the 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill and we also rate this one as the best compact folding treadmill with incline. This model is easily stored after folding because wheels allow it to stand either vertically or fold flat horizontally for storage under a bed. It features a 3 CHP motor and the durable construction was designed specifically with serious runners in mind. The 60-inch belt has tread for safety and is long enough for those with wide strides. A soft cushion on the belt offers superior comfort in this price range, so your joints won’t be hurting after a run.
The 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill can reach a maximum speed of 11 mph, and it does this without shaking or compromising your stability. The control console has room for water bottles and your entertainment such as books, phones, and tablets. The buttons are easy to understand and navigate, with both inclination(up to 15%) and speed being controlled with simple arrow buttons. The display screen features a back light and makes it easy to track your distance, time, and progress towards your goals. It measures heart rate through contact sensors but is not compatible with chest strapped monitors.
The one possible downside of the 3G Cardio 80i Fold Flat Treadmill is that it can be heavy and bulky. While the wheels and folding capabilities make this treadmill easy to move and store, it is still significantly larger than other models. Overall, this is due to the treadmill’s durability and sturdiness, which makes it a worthwhile and high-quality option and it is still one of our picks for best foldable treadmills for home use.