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The 6 best treadmills outside of Peloton for 2021

Peloton’s recall of its Tread line might leave you shopping for an alternative: We rounded up highly rated treadmills from Shopping reader favorite brands.
Illustration of Woman running on her treadmill at home and the Bowflex treadmill. See the best treadmill alternatives for Peloton treadmills such as NordicTrack treadmills, Bowflex treadmills, Nautilus treadmills and other options for your home.
In addition to highly rated treadmills, we rounded up treadmill safety tips from fitness experts.Lorado / Getty Images; Bowflex

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Peloton, a popular purveyor of exercise equipment, announced on May 5 that it is voluntarily recalling all of its treadmills. The company said in a joint press statement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) that shoppers who have bought either the Tread or the Tread+ should stop using it and contact the company for a refund. Those who don’t want a refund have the option of a free repair that’s meant to update the treadmill’s touchscreen to “prevent future incidents” of falling touchscreens, which the company said have caused minor injuries. (NBC News' parent company Comcast is an investor in Peloton.)

The recall comes more than a month after the company announced that a child was killed by a Tread+ and a few weeks following a warning to parents who own the Tread+ from CSPC. When the warning was issued, the company called it “misleading,” though it has since amended its stance and apologized. “I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+. We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize,” Peloton’s CEO John Foley said in a statement on May 5. There have been more than 70 reports of incidents of people being pulled under the rear of the Tread+ machine, including 29 injuries to children, according to publicly published details of the recall.

Given this recall, Peloton’s higher prices and previous Shopping reader interest in alternatives to the brand’s exercise bikes, we compiled six alternatives to the aforementioned treadmills from NordicTrack, Nautilus and more. Peloton treadmill alternatives can be found at Shopping reader favorite retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods. You can also find treadmills at Best Buy, Lowes and QVC.

6 best Peloton treadmill alternatives

Here are a few treadmills we’ve previously covered that you could consider adding to your home gym in lieu of the Peloton Tread and Tread+.

Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Treadmill

Personal trainer Anthony Crouchelli previously called this “a great shock-absorbing treadmill” and noted it is “ideal for runners working to create a low impact on your joints from start to finish in your daily runs.” Users who weigh up to 220 pounds can walk, jog and sprint up to 9 mph on the popular treadmill, which includes a safety lock feature. It also boasts nine built-in exercise programs and an LCD screen that displays metrics, including calories burned, speed, distance and pulse. There is also room to hold either a smartphone or tablet.

This Sunny Health & Fitness folding treadmill employs a soft drop system for a slow unfolding to help prevent the machine from a hard drop that can potentially damage the floor. It earned a 4.4-star average rating from 6,240 reviews on Amazon.

XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill

As one of the best folding treadmills, this Shopping reader favorite received a 4.4-star average rating from more than 8,720 reviews on Amazon.

“The price point is perfect for a budget-friendly individual who wants to get into running without breaking the bank,” Crouchelli previously told us. The TR150 features 12 preset fitness settings to choose from and users can run up to 10 mph on the machine. The relatively affordable treadmill includes an LCD screen, allowing users to track metrics like incline level, speed, distance, calories burned and pulse. Storing the treadmill is fairly simple — users can pull the treadmill’s knob to fold or unfold it.

NordicTrack T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill

NordicTrack is a well-liked brand among Shopping readers and fitness experts like Crouchelli and Rhys Athyude, a founding trainer at Dogpound, a personal training outfit. Beyond its 10 percent incline level, this Bluetooth-ready model can support users who weigh up to 300 pounds and are looking to run up to 10 mph.

Users have access to premium on-demand fitness classes via iFit, which is also available for purchase on exercise machines from ProForm and Freemotion. This NordicTrack treadmill automatically adjusts its incline and decline levels to match the iFit trainers' exercise routines. “Nordic hands down has some of the best on-demand trainers in the business, as they provide no stop top-tier programs across the board,” noted Crouchelli. If you want a larger display screen — the 10-inch or 14-inch models — you’ll have to wait between three to five weeks for them to be delivered via Amazon. (The 7-inch model is currently available and ready to ship.)

Nautilus T618 Treadmill

One of the best treadmills, this Bluetooth-enabled machine has a 4.4-star average rating from nearly 700 Amazon reviewers. It features dual screens that let you track metrics like heart rate, all while allowing you to transition your workout data to your smartphone using app-based tracking tools like MyFitnessPal. It includes 26 workout programs and can be synced with the free Explore the World app, which lets you run through 27 routes in 19 locations from all over the world and work out alongside other Nautilus owners in real time. The treadmill has a 350-pound weight capacity and comes with a wireless heart rate chest strap and an integrated towel and accessory bar.

Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill

Goplus’ folding treadmill, another top treadmill, boasts a 4.1-star average rating from more than 3,670 reviews on Amazon. This portable Shopping favorite has a foldable riser so you can use it to walk, jog or run. It features a five-layer, non-slip running belt with extra cushioning and shock absorption for your joints. The LED display shows speed, time, distance and calories burned in real time, and the included remote controls the machine’s speed.

Bowflex Treadmill 22

Bowflex’s newest treadmill is both Wi-Fi-ready and Bluetooth-enabled. It features an adjustable 22-inch HD screen where users can enjoy two months of included access to on-demand fitness class service JRNY — after the free trial wraps, membership costs just under $150 per year or $20 per month.

JRNY users can also stream Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Disney+ during their workouts. This is the sole model on our list that allows for running up to 12 mph. It also features a motorized incline of up to 20 percent and negative 5 percent decline levels, and employs a soft drop folding system for storage. As a bonus, Bowflex is currently throwing in a free exercise mat with the Treadmill 22, which earned a 4.1-star average rating from 11 reviews.

Treadmill safety

Just like with any piece of fitness equipment, treadmill safety is important to consider. According to CPSC, there were approximately 22,500 treadmill-related injuries in the U.S. in 2019 — about 2,000 of those were children under 8 years old.

You should always read through the applicable safety guidelines of your treadmill before using or purchasing it, including speed, stability and maximum weight capacity, according to experts we previously consulted. Patty Davis, a spokesperson for CPSC, previously told us that the general guidance for safely using a treadmill is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and utilize the safety key feature if your device has one, which immediately stops the device in case of an emergency. However, Chris Quatrochi, the senior vice president of innovation at fitness equipment purveyor Nautilus, warns that pulling the key while working out will make the treadmill stop suddenly and “could cause the loss of balance and possible injury.”

According to Quatrochi, it’s best to set up your treadmill on a level surface and use the foot support platforms on the side of the machine for stability before starting to walk. He also noted that you should leave space around the machine for emergency dismounts and never place it in a tight space.

For motorized treadmills that are typically plugged in, the power cords present a strangulation hazard for children, according to Davis. You should never leave your treadmill plugged in when not in use, and keep power cords away from a child’s reach.

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