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CNET: Best treadmills for 2021

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Published in Science & Technology News

Treadmills have always been one of the most popular pieces of at-home workout equipment, but when gyms shut down in 2020, demand for a home treadmill went through the roof. As such, most home fitness brands have responded by developing better, more advanced models than their predecessors. Many of the best home treadmill options now have smart features, like full integration with streaming services, preset workouts and access to live workout programs with live incline and decline. Other manufacturers skipped the bells and whistles, and focused on the running deck — developing advanced cushioning for improved shock absorption and biomechanically correct belts that help simulate the feel of outdoor running.

Because every treadmill user has different needs and goals, we've included a variety of both categories on this list. We considered factors like design, incline (and decline), speed, price and size, while making sure that no matter which home treadmill running machine you choose, you'll still get a good machine that you'll be happy with. That's right, even the cheap treadmill on this list is a quality treadmill. If you're looking to add a new piece of fitness equipment to your home for a great cardio workout that helps you meet your fitness goal, read on to find the best treadmill for you.

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Best treadmill overall

Bowflex Treadmill 22

CNET TAKE: The Treadmill 22 is the latest and most advanced model from Bowflex, and it's designed to please (mostly) everyone. Built like an absolute tank, this treadmill has a 4-horsepower motor, a 22-inch-wide by 60-inch-long running path and Comfort Tech deck cushioning that helps absorb shock even at higher running deck speeds. It has the largest incline range on this list, going from -5% decline up to a 20% incline to simulate running up and down hills, and supports the highest weight (400 pounds).

 

It also has an adjustable 22-inch touchscreen that allows you to follow along with trainer-led workouts (via the JRNY which requires a subscription) or lets you stream your favorite shows from a handful of popular streaming services. But before ordering this treadmill, make sure you have the space. At 85 inches long, 39.6 inches wide and 70 inches tall, it's fairly large but it does have a SoftDrop folding system that reduces its total footprint by more than 40%.

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Best smart treadmill

NordicTrack Commercial 2950

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