Advertising Disclosure ⓘ
Rankings are generated from thousands of verified customer reviews. We do not accept free products from any company––we only review products we love. By clicking on the products below, we may receive a commission at no cost to you.
Best Low Profile Treadmills
for Rooms with Low Ceilings (Short deck & step up height)
The T101 is Horizon’s entry-level treadmill that is best for walkers and joggers. It is compact, sturdy, quiet in operation, and has Horizon’s proprietary 3-Zone cushioning in the deck to protect your spine and joints. This is a great treadmill option for those who want gentle training and conditioning.
Horizon 7.8 AT
The Horizon Fitness 7.8 AT is Horizon’s highest grade treadmill in their Studio Series lineup. It has a full 22” wide and 60” long deck which is compatible with other high-end folding treadmills. This provides plenty of space for walking, jogging, or running and should offer enough kickback for even tall runners. Crush your fitness goals with Horizon’s most powerful treadmill, the Horizon 7.8AT. Connect directly to your favorite workout apps, such as Zwift or Peloton, or use the integrated Sprint 8 HIIT programming.
Horizon 7.0 AT
Whether in terms of performance, technology to use, or user experience, the Horizon 7.0AT folding treadmill is still worthy of being the most affordable low-profile treadmill to buy in this list. The Horizon 7.0 AT was updated recently with some impressive features. The enhanced Bluetooth connects to multiple devices to stream media through integrated speakers so you can use various training apps on the 7.0 AT. This is one of the most attractive features on the 7.0 AT – you are not locked into one single subscription. Using your personal tablet or phone, you can use Zwift or Peloton or iFit while on the Horizon 7.0 AT.
There is a 5% decline and a 15% incline both motorized. By using this you can replicate any course, even the down hill parts and improve your performance when you encounter it. The 400 lbs weight capacity mean the whole family can get a workout comfortably. If you’re overweight then you can exercise with confidence to help you lose weight. Bowflex T10 isn’t a budget treadmill, but it also isn’t comparable to the price of a high-end machine, like a Peloton Tread or AssaultRunner.
The Xterra Fitness TR150 treadmill is a suitable starter machine for home workouts for the budget-conscious user. It can be easily folded up and stored away, making it a space-worthy investment. With 12 preset programs that cater to all levels of users from beginner walker to speed walker – it is a great addition to your home gym.
How To Find Out If A Treadmill Will Fit In Your Low Ceiling Space
First things first, when you are trying to squeeze a treadmill into a compact space, every inch is worth its size in gold.
Grab a measuring tape and run some numbers.
The exact height of the ceiling
What is the exact height of the ceiling at the highest spot in the room? The reason we mentioned the highest spot is because sometimes, the ceiling can be unfinished and you can get a few extra inches in between the joist beams.
If that’s the case, then park your treadmill there. Don’t even consider the aesthetics at this point. If the ceiling is a finished one, write down the number on a piece of paper.
As a reference, anything below 7-feet is considered super low. A few inches more than 7-feet and you will have some options to consider. 8-feet? Your options increase greatly. Anything more than 9-feet is not a low ceiling. GTFO!
The height of the tallest user
Use the height of the tallest user who will be using the treadmill as a reference to calculate the clearance you need above it.
Even if you are 5’10, but your partner is 6’3, but would only be using the treadmill once in a while, use their height as the reference during your research rather than using yours.
Once in a while can quickly turn into once a day and the last thing you want is to get stuck with a treadmill that only selected people in the house can use.
The step up or the deck height is undoubtedly, the determining factor that will matter the most when you shop for treadmills. The best treadmills for low ceilings usually have low profile designs with an average step-up height of 5-8”.
If the tallest user in the house is 6’3, then this means that the total height when they stand on the treadmill would be approximately 7-feet or a little more than that.
You ideally need at least 6” of clearance above your head, else it can feel very claustrophobic. Also, you’ll constantly peeking upwards, worrying that your head will somehow scrape on the ceiling.
If the treadmill has the incline feature and you are looking to run on an incline, then you need to calculate and account for the additional clearance that will be needed for it.
The average height of a standard treadmill deck at a max incline is around 13” from the floor. Add to it an inch for shoe thickness and the 6” that we mentioned earlier.
You’d need a clearance of around 18-19” if you will be using the incline feature a lot. If you don’t have that kind of clearance, save yourself some money and buy a barebones treadmill that will do the job, but won’t have the bells and whistles of some other models.
Here’s What to look for when buying a low-profile treadmill
There’s no denying that it would be difficult to wrap your mind around the height of the treadmill when you are looking for one that can fit into a room with low ceilings.
But clearly, there’s more to a quality treadmill than the height of the deck.
Here are some of the other features to consider before you swipe that credit card.
Frame construction and warranty
Most treadmills are made of stainless steel tubing and are pretty sturdy. Even the budget-priced ones are.
That said, you’d want to ensure that the one you pick is able to withstand your intended use without wobbling.
Ever heard of the treadmill dance? That’s when your treadmill starts to mysteriously move with you running on the deck in full steam. Not funny, we tell you.
A heavy, sturdy treadmill will not wobble, or creak at the joints, or decide to take a trip in the middle of the workout.
While you are at it, pay attention to the warranty on the frame. Many top brands give you a lifetime warranty. Some only give you one-year though.
Deck width and the running surface
How wide a surface do you need to comfortably walk and run?
That depends on the size of the person using it as well as their own personal preferences.
We find about 17” to be the sweet spot. But there are smaller users who can walk comfortably on a 15” deck.
If you are a tall and heavy user looking to run at top speed, then you might need a 20” wide surface at least.
You also need to consider where you will be putting it. Do you live in an apartment and need a smaller treadmill? Or do you have ample space to put it but just have low ceilings?
Do you really need them? Brands will often harp on features that you may never use.
Like the size of the console or Bluetooth speakers or onboard workouts or the incline function.
Don’t get swayed by these vanity features.
As long as the treadmill comes with a device holder, you can get everything you need on your smartphone. There are apps for example, that have thousands of workout programs to choose from, which makes the 10-15 onboard programs on the treadmill seem rudimentary in comparison.
However, if you prefer to workout with minimal interference from a cell phone, these features can be useful.
At first glance, the $700 treadmill (which is the average price for a decent treadmill) and the budget-priced option will look exactly the same.
But there’s a world of difference in the quality.
Cheap treadmills don’t last long. That’s the simplest way of putting it.
There are horror stories galore of the tread deck cracking in half midway through a workout, the motor getting overheated or even catching fire.
You don’t need a fancy shmancy treadmill with a big screen and interactive workout programs just to get a workout in but you also need to make sure you are not getting a pile of junk.
Do yourself a favor and buy a decent treadmill that’s built to last.
Don’t spend your hard-earned money on junk that will conk off within a few months.