How We Review Treadmills

At, truth is paramount. Our goal is to provide trustworthy information that helps shoppers decide which treadmills best fit their needs. We’re also committed to being clear about how we review the treadmills on our site. Here we help visitors understand our approach.

No Shenanigans: Integrity by Design

The Internet is flooded with unreliable product reviews. We offer a useful alternative. Most importantly, our treadmill reviewers have no stake in the ratings they assign. They aren’t swayed by company partnerships, affiliate payouts or advertising. Whether they write a disappointed two-star treadmill review or an enthusiastic five-star review, their compensation is the same and the work is posted. There is a clear distinction between the advertising and editorial/research/review teams. To learn more about how we support our work, see our earnings disclosure here.

Experience and Research

Our review team members rely on personal experience, research and critical thinking. Like any good reviewers, they know better than to simply parrot the messages printed in sales brochures. Our writers take many data points into account for each treadmill review – and once it’s published, each review is subject to change based on new customer feedback, the manufacturer’s updates, recalls and more. Our review guides are centered on real-life experience(s) with the products. Sometimes we meet a treadmill before it’s even “born,” thanks to assembly line tours.

We have had the opportunity to visit most major treadmill manufacturers corporate headquarters to get and understanding of their marketing and sales processes. Here are a few photos from our teams visits…

During our plant visits, our teams get regular demonstrations of the internal equipment and electronics testing facilities, Quality Assurance departments etc. to evaluate their processes.

Exclusive factory tours from the manufacturers gives us unique insight into how a machine is created, quality checked and prepared for delivery. We’ve had the opportunity to evaluate the packing, shipping and logistics from some of the most efficient in the business.

But overall we strive in each article to share an informed understanding of how a given treadmill model works in the real world – from day one of ownership and down the line. Is assembly a hassle? Is this treadmill fine for a petite athlete but not fit for tall runners? Is it durable enough for an active family? Does it squeak? We’ll do our best to let you know.

Whenever possible we personally test the treadmill under review. You can see some of this action on our YouTube channel, which shares dozens of our treadmill review videos. Viewers can watch our team members assemble treadmills, navigate the computer monitors and test the tracks. When a treadmill is foldable, the video footage also shows a trainee making the machine compact for storage.

Obviously our own test runs can’t tell the whole story. How will a machine hold up over the next few years? Will it provide good value or be dragged to the curb? Will it suit a single person but not a whole family? Our treadmill reviews are rounded out with information such as: consumer reviews from multiple sources; other treadmill experts’ contributions; the product’s specs list; our knowledge of the brand more generally; the product’s price; competitors’ alternatives and more.

We take an exhaustive approach… to keep you from being exhausted.

Standardized Reviews

We use an outline to standardize our treadmill reviews and help shoppers make comparisons. Our reviewers rate each product based on specific criteria related to design and performance. The ratings also consider each model’s value compared with other treadmills in its price range.

  • First we consider a treadmill’s essential components. We are interested in factors such as the sturdiness of material used in the frame, the capacity of the motor, and the cushioning beneath the treadmill’s belt.
  • Next we consider the electronics. Some criteria are screen size, the accuracy of the calorie counter and heart rate monitor, and the quality of any built-in workout programs.
  • Our reviews take “extras” into account. For instance, some but not all treadmills have automated inclines, sound systems, Internet connections and other features beyond the essentials and standard workout programming.
  • After we have a pretty solid impression of a product, we consider its price and warranty. The editor considers, “If this treadmill broke down right after its parts warranty expired, how much would it have cost to use per day?”
  • Sometimes we go undercover, calling the manufacturer’s toll-free number or using online chat to pose as a customer with a problem mentioned in reviews. This helps us understand the availability, friendliness and helpfulness of customer service. Team members have also taken factory tours (not undercover) and met with treadmill manufacturers to get a better sense of companies’ cultures.
  • Finally, the editor compares their draft review with other online feedback. What have customers written? What have other experts written? Sometimes these posts confirm what’s been written. Sometimes they lead to more research and a revision before the review is published.

Our criteria have evolved with the treadmill industry. For example, the horsepower and electronics that earned five-star reviews several years ago have become ho-hum today. With and our YouTube channel, you can count on getting reviews that are relevant.

Browse our treadmill buyer’s guide for more in-depth information about how each treadmill component is analyzed.

No Review Is Ever “Complete”

Every day more people use the products in our reviews. And as the machines age, the products’ strengths and weaknesses are understood in new ways. We welcome your feedback to help us stay aware of how different treadmills perform in different contexts and over time. We regularly edit our reviews to incorporate the latest feedback from customers, manufacturers, personal trainers and others with product experience.

We encourage all readers to share their experiences with, or knowledge about, certain treadmill models or brands. You can do that here: Readers’ contributions are part of’s success.