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Best Budget Treadmills - Readers' Choice Awards 2013

Winner and Finalists

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Updated March 13, 2014

Meet the winner and finalists for best budget treadmills nominated for our 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. These treadmills retail for $1,500 or less. Voting was open from Feb. 19 through March 19, 2013. The prize: bragging rights.

1. Winner: LifeSpan TR 1200-DT Treadmill Desk

LifeSpan TR 1200-DT Treadmill Desk
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Health studies keep coming that conclude that sitting too much raises health risks, even if you put in workouts once you finally get out of your chair. Using a treadmill desk like the 1200-DT can substitute slow walking for sitting. Burn calories throughout the day while reducing your sitting time. The treadmill display is at the front of the desk console. Voted Best New Treadmill for 2012 by Treadmill Doctor and previous winner of our 2012 Readers' Choice Award for best budget treadmill.

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2. LifeSpan TR 1200i Treadmill

LifeSpan TR1200i Treadmill
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Apparently this is one of the top-selling treadmills on Amazon.com, where it's earned 4.5 out of 5 stars. It has a 2.5 horsepower motor and it folds to save space. It has convenient handlebar controls. It comes with 17 pre-set workouts and two heart rate zone workouts. Your exercise data is saved on a USB stick and you can track your workouts online with the LifeSpan Fitness Club. One nominator said, "You get a lot of bang for your buck. It's easily the best treadmill on the market in the $1000 price range."

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3. Smooth 5.65 Treadmill

Smooth 5.65 Treadmill
Smooth Fitness
This folding treadmill has a 2.75-horsepower motor, which they back with a great warranty - lifetime on the motor and frame, five years for parts and two years for in-home repairs. It is often is on sale for under $1000. The soft-drop system helps you fold and unfold it easily so you can store it away when not in use. You can plug your iPod or other music player into its sound system.

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4. Sole F80 Treadmill

Sole F80
Courtesy of Pricegrabber
You can usually find this treadmill right at the $1500 mark. What you get over the less expensive treadmills is a much bigger motor - 3.5 horsepower. It has speed and incline controls on the handlebars for convenience. It has a pulse grip heart monitor and is compatible with a chest strap monitor, which is included. The user weight capacity is 375 pounds.
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5. Gold's Gym 410 Treadmill

Gold's Gym 410 Trainer Treadmill
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

This treadmill comes in the lowest price category, under $400. At that price, you are not likely to be getting a very sturdy or durable treadmill. It has a 2.0 horsepower continuous duty motor and a user weight limit of 300 pounds. With that amount of power, it's best to be used for walking rather than running. It's a folding treadmill. It has a hand grip pulse monitor and eight workouts. Interestingly, it comes with two 2-pound hand weights so you can do a little upper body work, too. One nominator said, "Cost effective and great for beginners like me!"

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