Features to Look at When Buying a Treadmill

As you are researching treadmills, you will see several optional features you can choose. If you are trying to stay on a budget, determine which features you want and which features you will probably never use. This can help you keep the price of the treadmill within your means.

Treadmill Buying Table of Contents

Some of the features you will discover include: heart rate monitors, programs to help you assess your workouts, programs that allow you to pick out routes to run or walk for variety, touch screen monitors and more. When you test out treadmills, you can have the salesperson take you through the options and that will help you determine which ones you absolutely need and which ones you absolutely don’t need.

  • Below are the optional features that we believe to be important a new treadmill:

​Heart Rate Monitors

Heart Rate Monitor

Heart Rate Monitor

When you walk or run on your treadmill, you probably want to track your heart rate to see how you are progressing with your exercise routine. You’ll want to see if you are hitting your target heart rate, which indicates you are getting the best cardio workout you can for your heart’s health.

You will have a choice between heart rate monitors with leads you will attach to your body, usually around your wrist, or sensors built into handgrips on the handrail. You may even have your own heart rate monitor that you can use if you want to skip having one on your treadmill, but they are a common feature.

​Incline and Decline

As you get used to your exercise routine on your treadmill, you may wish to make it more challenging by inclining the deck.  By raising the deck, it will seem as if you are walking or running uphill.  Some treadmills will also give you the option of having the deck decline so you are walking or running downhill.

If you do choose a treadmill with an inclining deck, you will want to choose one that has a range of at least 0% to 10% incline.  You can usually find some that will incline by up to 15%, but that can be fairly steep.  Again, you will want to test out this feature when you go to look at treadmills in person.


Just as you do your cell phone or tablet PC, treadmill monitors come in touch screen varieties.  This can be helpful as you’re walking or running because you don’t have to worry about not pushing the buttons hard enough while you’re exercising.  However, the electronics on a treadmill is one area you can save money.  If you feel like you can get by with a push button screen, than don’t upgrade to a more expensive touch screen version.

Your monitor should at least display the time, distance, calories, heart rate, speed and incline, if you have that feature.  Anything more will depend upon the optional programs your treadmill offers.

Program Options

treadmill program optionsAs with any electronic device you get these days, you will have several program options to select from and treadmills are no different.  You will find programs that will help you set up an entire exercise routine and monitor your progress every time you get on the treadmill to workout.  They can store your weight, how many calories you’ve burned and keep track of your treadmill usage.

Other programs are available that allow you to choose different routes to run or walk.  When you choose a route, your treadmill will mimic the terrain by increasing the speed or difficultly of the path, including inclining the deck as needed.

Only select the treadmills with the features you will use.  This will help you stay within your budget by not overspending on optional features you’ll never use.