What’s the Best Treadmill Under (or close to!) £500? Budget Treadmill Review

Today we’re on the hunt for the very best treadmill under £500 on the market in 2021.

This (UK) guide will look at things like build quality, feature set and a ton of other important criteria and find the best machine your money can buy for this price point. There are some fantastic running machines available at this price bracket so sit back and enjoy the guide!

Best Overall

Bluefin Fitness Kick 2.0

This treadmill is sturdy, has a good size running track and works with Kinomap.

  • 12km/h

  • 18% incline

  • App / video coaching compatible

  • 16 programs

Bluefin Fitness

Runner Up

Gearstone 2-in-1 Treadmill

The most compact treadmill for under £500. Unique walking and running modes.

  • 15km/h

  • 2HP Motor

  • Folds down to around 10cm.

  • Quick and easy to use

Amazon UK

Fit4home JK-06

  • 12km/h

  • Light: 28kg

  • 3 quick start settings

  • 12 programs

Amazon UK

Sportstech F10

  • 10km/h

  • App / video coaching compatible

  • Self-lubricating

  • 13 programs

Amazon UK

Viavito LunaRun

  • 16km/h

  • Automatic incline

  • Max user weight: 90kg

  • 19 programs

Amazon UK

What we look for when reviewing treadmills

What can you expect to get for your money in the £500 (ish) range?

Having previously reviewed and rated the top treadmills under £200, it was great to be given a higher budget of £500 for our next round of testing. Stepping up to this mid-budget price range gets you  a lot more in terms of quality, stability and features.

Things we’re looking at in this price range:

Treadmill Console
We look in-depth at every running machine we review
  1. Build quality – For around the £500 mark, any compromises in materials and quality should be gone. No wobbling, thin tube construction, shoddy joints or instability.
  2. Running track – At the £500 price range, we looked for a good quality running track, at a proper size, where the belt can dish out and take some serious punishment. The £500-ish bracket takes our ideal machine into the market of serious runners, as well as casual runners and walkers.
  3. Size – There are some shall we say ‘compact’ treadmills on the market. In this guide, we want something serious – a real sturdy, good-sized treadmill, with plenty of space to stretch our legs.
  4. Upper speed – We’re looking for a treadmill with a reasonable upper-speed limit – 12km/h ideally.
  5. Folding goodness – Although many people won’t be storing their treadmill at this price range, the majority of treadmills we review do still ‘flip up’ – at least providing a bit of space in your gym for other things. We looked at how easy each treadmill was to fold up and store.
  6. Incline – Pushing into the mid-tier treadmills, we expected to find machines with some form of adjustable incline – automatic if possible, but we’ll take manual too. Remember that setting your treadmill to even 1% or 2% incline will simulate the experience and work load of running outdoors.
  7. Console and display – One thing cheaper treadmills suffer from is very shoddy quality displays. At this price point we looked more closely, with a less-forgiving eye, at the quality of the LCD display. We looked into the info on display, the amount of info on screen at a time, and exactly what was being tracked.

So, what are the best treadmills up to £500?

For this respectable budget, expect a really good machine that will be a trusty training partner and last a long time. Here’s the treadmills we found were actually worth the money, starting with the top pick first.

Bluefin Fitness KICK 2.0

A gym quality treadmill for under £500?

Lets cut to the chase: this is what we think is the very best treadmill you can get for just South of the £500 mark. The Bluefin Fitness Kick 2 is an absolutely brilliant running machine that offers a great way to get in shape and either run or walk at home. But why is this one so good?

Solid design and good size

After a quick assembly (should take around 15 minutes due to it being 90% assembled) the Kick 2 makes a good first impression; it’s a decent looking machine. More importantly, unlike a lot of treadmills, it’s rock-solid and feels sturdy and comfy to run on.

The running track is wide and long enough for even tall users and there’s an 18% incline. The other good thing about this machine is it’s compatible with wireless heart rate sensors.

Excellent console and display

Often overlooked, the console on the Kick 2 is really good. It’s a 5″ crisp backlit LCD screen. A wealth of info is displayed on the screen at the same time and I actually prefer this display to a lot of the gym quality ones I’ve worked with and reviewed.

This running machine has an upper speed of around 12km/h and can also be connected to online services such as Kinomap, allowing for online races and multiplayer competitions.

You can track everything you’d expect: calories, speed, distance and all the basics. This machine also works out body fat and has 16 ready-to-go programs to get you in shape.

Good for new users or experienced runners

The Kick 2 is suitable for users looking to do nothing but gentle walking, right up to those looking for a challenge, or can just jump on and do your own thing.

This is a relatively silent treadmill too with a 1100w DC motor.

Verdict: A solid, well-made running machine that’s built to last. Packed with features and a smooth running experience. Great for new or more experienced runners, this is a superb home treadmill for just under £500. There are too many plus points with the Kick 2.0. It’s an easy recommendation and we think you’ll love this machine. 

  • 12km/h upper speed
  • Sturdy and well made
  • Bright, easy-to-read display
  • Folds extremely flat
  • Comes 90% assembled
  • Good connectivity to Kinomap
  • Manual incline only

#2 – Gearstone 2-in-1 Treadmill (Amazon UK)

Gearstone 2-in-1The next treadmill for under £500 that’s absolutely worth your time is one from Gearstone.  This modern-looking machine has a good-sized running track of 110cm x 40cm and a max user weight of 120kg. The cool thing with this machine is that the sides can be removed and you can run or walk on it with complete natural freedom.

Robust build, with plenty of power

The WP7 is a sturdy runner that feels like a premium sort of machine. The 2 HP has plenty of punch to it and whether you’re doing some gentle walking, or want something a tad more sweaty, this machine can handle it. With an upper speed around the 15km range, it’s good for all levels.

Super-flat storage

One of the best things with this treadmill is that because the sides can be removed, it folds extremely flat and takes up hardly any space. It can even be slid under a bed or tucked away in a spare room. So if you’ve not got space for a larger model, this one might fit the bill.

Verdict: The WP7 machine will appeal to anyone looking to get in shape and run at home, who hasn’t got the space for a hulking treadmill. It’s compact, has a good-sized running surface and the dual walking (sideless) and running modes are excellent.

  • Compact storage
  • Good touch screen display
  • Brilliant sideless design
  • Powerful little 2HP motor
  • Very quick and easy to fold
  • Tablet holder
  • No pulse sensors
Best Price
£439.00 at Amazon
Price last checked: Saturday 25th September 2021 - 19:15 pm

#3 – Fit4home JK-06 Electric Treadmill (Amazon UK)

Fit4home Electric Treadmill

The JK-06 can normally be found on places like Amazon for just under the £500 mark and is definitely worth considering if you’re hunting for a new treadmill. With extremely high user reviews, we were excited to check out what this machine has to offer.

Sturdy treadmill

With stability being a big problem with some cheaper treadmills, the JK-06 nails it with a solid frame that has an upper weight limit of 110kg.

As well as not feeling like it’s going to drop to bits when you’re going hard, this treadmill has its own form of cushioning called ZigTech. That”s Reeboks take on shock absorption, and it does a good job at taking at least some of the strain off your joints.

Powerful enough for all users

This machine comes with a 1.5 HP motor, which is capable of getting up to 12 km/h. If you want more of a challenge, there’s a robust incline system that’s fully powered.

You’ve got 12 varied programs, which are all clearly shown on the main panel so you can pick one that’s for you… or you can choose your own punishment and just do your own thing. Meanwhile, pulse sensors on the side rails give you an idea of your heart rate.

The JK-06 is perfect for new users but definitely powerful enough for anyone looking for more of a taxing session. There’s also handy buttons let you jump into a certain speed, or slope.

What’s the display like?

The main console has a large, backlit display that’s large, crisp and easy to read. There are simple illustrations of the 12 preset programs down each side and quick-start buttons underneath.

The info is displayed clearly and you can get a quick eyeball on your calories, distance, time, and heart rate. Like the other treadmills in this range, pulse sensors on the extended arms let you make contact and check your current heart rate.

You’ve also got two generous cup holders that have plenty of space to stash your keys. There’s a good-sized tablet holder here too.

Verdict: Fit4Home’s machine comes in under our budget price range and is a solid, good-looking machine. There are 3 levels of manual incline here so you can increase how hard the workout is. 

  • Well-made machine
  • Nice bright display
  • Tablet holder
  • Folds down to a compact size
  • Very light and easy to move
  • Manual incline only
  • Not compatible with wireless heart rate sensors
Best Price
£239.99 at Amazon
Price last checked: Saturday 25th September 2021 - 19:04 pm

#4 – Sportstech F10 treadmill (Amazon UK)

SportsTech F10
Th SportsTech F10 is a cracking budget treadmill in the sub-£1000 range

A great quality treadmill

The SportsTech F10 is cheaper than a lot of the other sub-£500 treadmills in this list but it’s also one of the better machines you can get in this price range. SportsTech are a German-based fitness brand and have been cranking out some stellar machines. So what’s the F10 and why should you care?

Good looking machine with robust construction

The frame on this machine is well put together and the F10 has a max upper weight limit of 120kg. There’s a 5-layer running track here that’s got a good bit of bounce to it and will last a long time.

Better pulse tracking

The loss of the treadmill’s arms means you can’t take your pulse with the sensors that are normally stored there. Instead, you get an awesome free £35 Bluetooth pulse sensor you wear while running. This is way better and more reliable than touching a metal sensor.

App integration and visual running tracks

Another benefit with this treadmill is that not only does it have a secure place to put a phone or a tablet (yay!) But there’s also an app you can download to accurately track your stats, in a way you just can’t with built-in console displays.

You’ll also really like the way you can see different tracks as you’re running. A bit of a gimmick? Maybe. But it looks cool and offers some variation in your workout. While the included app, in it’s current form, does an OK job, there are others you can download for free that do are fantastic. Check out out the HomeFit app for more info. (There are loads more on both app stores).

Other features we like with the F10

There’s a system here that makes lubricating the machine a lot easier than other machines. Speaking of ease, we were impressed that this machine arrives fully assembled.

Power-wise, you’re getting a 1 HP motor here that’s pretty quiet, although once you’re running the noise obviously increases. The F10 is foldable in a way a lot of other machines aren’t and has a simple fold-flat design. It takes a few seconds to get folded down.

Verdict: Sportstech F10 is a modern, well-built treadmill that’s well worth a look if you’re not bothered about losing your arm supports, and don’t need incline. The app integration and Bluetooth pulse tracker are awesome.

  • Modern design looks great
  • Integrates with free app, and other 3rd party ones
  • Budget price
  • Whisper quiet
  • Zero assembly required
  • Solid build quality
  • Lower top speed that other treadmills in this range
  • Manual incline
Best Price
£279.00 at Amazon
Price last checked: Saturday 25th September 2021 - 19:14 pm

#5 Viavito LunaRun Fold Flat Treadmill (Amazon UK)

Best fold-flat treadmill in this price range

One thing you find with a lot of ‘folding’ treadmills is they often don’t exactly fold flat. The running track might flip up a bit, but that’s it. The LunaRun, on the other hand, really does fold up. It’s one of the more compact folded machines that can be neatly put against a wall when not in use.

Design-wise, the machine is both sturdy and robust and has an upper speed of 10kph and a 1.25 HP motor.

Powered incline is good

The Viavito LunaRun comes with 10 levels of powered incline, with a max slope of 10%. What’s more impressive is that it’s very rare to see any powered incline on a fold-flat treadmill at all. Using this makes running and walking on this machine much more taxing, and will develop muscles in your legs you didn’t know you had (ouch!)

Console and display

The LunaRun has a very readable, if slightly smaller display. It’s blue and backlit and it’s easy enough to see specs like speed, time, distance, incline and calories. You can work out your heart rate using the pulse sensors on the arms.

There are also 12 programs to sink your teeth into, if you don’t want to manually adjust the incline and speed yourself. They’re actually pretty good and are apparently approved by a personal trainer. If nothing else,. they’re there if you want a change from your normal running or walking.

Other little extras

There are two speakers, with an old school jack, if you want to play your tunes while running (not tested). There are two cup holders, but they aren’t all that deep and look like it wouldn’t take much for your water bottle to fall out!

One thing that is worth noting is the handy tablet holder. Yeah, it’s not the most important thing, but it’s damn handy! Whether you’re using your phone or tablet as part of your training, or just to take your mind of running, it’s always good to have somewhere secure to put it.

Verdict: The LunaWalk is a great little treadmill for under £500 that’s capable of giving your a challenge, while being easy to fold away and store. It might not be suitable for anyone looking to do hardcore running, as the upper limit is around 10kph, but for anyone looking for an unobtrusive machine that does the job, give this one a look.

  • Folds up to a compact size
  • Tablet holder is handy
  • Powered incline rare on a folding machine
  • Bright, easy-to-read console
  • Mostly pre-assembled, not much work required
  • The cup-holders aren’t very deep
  • Lower top speed than some treadmills in this price range
  • Max user weight is only 90kg
  • Lower upper speed than we like to see
Best Price
£599.00 at Amazon
Price last checked: Saturday 25th September 2021 - 19:16 pm

£500 Treadmill Buyer’s Guide

AKA how not to get stuck with a treadmill you HATE

Those product pics all look amazing on the retailer’s websites. But how do you know you’re not getting something that SUCKS in real life? This quick guide will arm you with everything you need to know in order to NOT get stuck with a lemon, and find the best running machine for under £500.

Check all these important specs before buying, and you’ll be in a good place to pick a really good treadmill.

Reebok ZR8 Treadmill
Above: Reebok ZR8 Treadmill – Amazon UK

First up: the warranty

Buying a running machine for your home isn’t like ordering a smaller item online. They can be pretty big and returning them no small feat. The things we recommend you delve into before you hit that ‘buy’ button are:

  1. What is the warranty? – how long is it for? A good warranty can be one, two or even three years. Some treadmills even guarantee parts like the frame or the motor for a lifetime.
  2. If something goes wrong, how does it get sent back? Shipping fees on a whopping treadmill can run into silly money, so check who is responsible for return shipping.
  3. Is there any home service? Our absolute favourite kind of warranty is the one where the company comes out to your home and fixes any problems. Places like JTX Fitness offer this, and it’s way better than having to send anything back, or wait for a new part to be delivered!

TO make matters more complicated, a warranty might have different warranty lengths for:

  1. Parts & labor
  2. The motor
  3. The frame

Motor power: Get your horsepower sorted

Horsepower, or HP for short, is one of the specs you’ll definitely want to cast an eye over. The bigger the HP number, the more power your motor will have. Look for something over 3 HP (most in the £500 zone will be way over this anyway).

Measure up the running track

Treadmills have a number of measurements you’ll want to look into, the regular width, height and length dimensions of course, but there’s another equally important measurement to check: the running track. You’ll need to look for the width and length of the running track and pick one that’s right for you.

  • Too narrow: you might struggle to stay in position on the track.
  • Too short: you won’t have enough room for your stride.

While the running track might seem like an issue for taller runners, more room to train in is important for any sized user. Bigger is generally better, although you’ll have to weigh that up with how large your treadmill can be for the space you have.

Generally speaking, unless you’re looking for a SUPER compact treadmill, look for a running track width over 40cm and a track length over 120cm. Commercial treadmills have a track that measures around 50 cm x 150 cm. The closer you can get up to those measurements, the better.

Branx Fitness Foldable 'Cardio Pro' Touchscreen Console Treadmill - 17km/h - 6hp - 0-15 Level Auto Incline - Body Fat Readout - Soft Drop System - Smart Deck Suspension Points
Above: Some treadmills fold up, where as some fold completely flat Branx Fitness Foldable – Amazon UK

Check the user weight

Treadmills are a bit like hot tubs or swimming pools on a hot summer’s day. If you’ve got one at home, you might just find you’ve got lots of new friends. Think about who might end up using the treadmill and pick one that supports each user’s weight. The Max user weight, measured in kgs, is where you’ll need to look.

Shock absorption isn’t just for cars

Both your knees and the people you share a home with will thank you for checking this one. There’s no getting around the fact that running puts an extra impact on your joints. So make it kind on your knees and find a treadmill that has some decent shock absorbing tech.

Some treadmills (often the budget ones) overlook this and can end up being a bit ‘thuddy’, for want of a better word. At just under £500 you should be able to find a treadmill with some cushioning, to reduce the impact while you’re running.

What’s a soft drop system?

One thing you might read in the treadmill descriptions is ‘soft drop’. This is only found on folding treadmills and it’s a cushioned way of lowering the running track from it’s folded position. Once released, it gently drops into place.

Why is this important? It makes for safer unfolding of your treadmill (no-one wants to get whacked on the head with their lovely new treadmill). And it also helps your back as there’s no bending involved.

Running machines that have a soft-drop system are usually easier to fold up as well, with the mechanism doing the heavy lifting for you.

The nice little extras

A couple of super-basic things we like to see on treadmills, that aren’t especially vital – but are handy:

  1. Somewhere to put your bottle. Even better if there are two cup holders as the other one can always be used to stash phones, keys and other bits ‘n’ bobs.
  2. A tablet holder. It’s amazing that otherwise excellent treadmills can often neglect to make space for a tablet. A little shelf is always appreciated.

Tell us about your treadmill

Got a cool running machine you want to shout about? Please let us know in the comments if you’ve found a good treadmill that’s not mentioned here, or about any of your own experiences with these popular fitness machines.

Tom Armstrong

Hey! I've been training in all kinds of places, with all kinds of equipment for the best part of 30 years. I love training with my weights at home and writing about new products and training methods online. Well, with a name like Armstrong, I would have to be into training, right?

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