A treadmill can make a great addition to any home, regardless of age, and knowing what to look for and compare is crucial to finding the right model to meet your needs.
This is true for all of us, but it’s especially true for our seniors.
I don’t want to sound like I’m making assumptions here, because believe me, I know that we all age differently, but most seniors will likely benefit from a treadmill that’s comfortable and easy to use.
And even though some seniors are still running and may need a more powerful treadmill with advanced features, most seniors are probably looking for a treadmill for the sake of walking.
Again, I hate to make assumptions.
Regardless, I’m here to help.
In this guide, I’ll go over everything our seniors should know before buying a new treadmill and I’ll also offer my top picks based on the specs we go over.
After reading, you’ll be well-equipped to find the right treadmill for yourself or a senior in your life.
|#1 Horizon 7.0 AT
|20" x 60"
3 year parts
1 year labor
|#2 Sole F63
|20" x 60"
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#3 Matrix TF30
|20" x 55"
5 year parts
2 years labor
|#4 NordicTrack T 6.5 S
|20" x 55"
|10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#5 Horizon T101
|20" x 55"
1 year parts
1 year labor
|#6 NordicTrack Commercial 1750
|20" x 60"
|10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#7 SHF Recovery Walking Treadmill
|19.5" x 44"
|3 year frame
6 month parts
The 7 Best Treadmills For Seniors
#1 Horizon 7.0 AT
Horizon’s a great brand with no-thrills cardio machines that perform very well for their respective price ranges.
I actually own their 7.8 AT and love it.
Anyway, the 7.0 AT is very similar to the F63 mentioned below, but it costs a little less and comes with an interesting dial feature for the controls that I personally enjoy.
You can basically adjust the speed and incline settings by turning a dial, as opposed to pushing “up/down” arrows.
I know it sounds like a small thing, but I find it really convenient.
I think it makes it easier and faster to make adjustments, but again, it’s a small thing.
In terms of performance, you aren’t going to find a more impressive machine in this price range.
The 7.0 AT comes with a 20″ x 60″ running surface and a 3.0 CHP motor that can reach a top speed of 12 mph and a top incline of 15%.
This is also a very heavy-duty treadmill that’ll feel stable and secure during workouts and comes with a max weight limit of 325 lb.
The console on this treadmill is also remarkably easy to use, allowing you to simply hit “start” and off you go.
It also comes with convenient quick touch buttons for the speed and incline settings that makes it easy to instantly choose your settings.
But it’s also bluetooth compatible with streaming apps, so if you do want to get your stream on, you can.
Horizon also offers a great warranty on this treadmill: lifetime frame/motor, 3 year parts, 1 year labor.
The only real downside is that this is a heavy treadmill, so if you found yourself having to move it around it would definitely make the task more difficult.
But all that extra bulk is great when it comes to performance because you won’t have to worry about it feeling shaky or wiggling around on ya during workouts.
Overall, the 7.0 AT is a great treadmill and would make a perfect option for seniors looking for an easy to use treadmill that’s built to last. See full review.
#2 Sole F63
Sole’s F63 checks off just about every characteristic I can think of that would make a treadmill a good fit for most seniors.
It has a spacious running surface, a powerful motor, a great warranty, and it’s easy to use.
Oh, and with a price of only around $1k, it’s also pretty affordable.
More specifically though, the F63 comes with a running surface of 20″ x 60″, allowing plenty of room for walking or running at any speed.
And with a 3.0 HP motor, there’s more than enough muscle under the hood for runners and walkers alike.
This treadmill also comes with a max speed of 12 mph, a max incline of 15%, and a heavy-duty frame that can handle folks weighing up to 325 lb.
But what I personally like about most of Sole’s treadmills (and I think most seniors will also appreciate), is how straightforward their consoles are.
Sure, they’ve upgraded a lot of their consoles to higher-tech, touchscreen interfaces, but the F63 still comes with a classic, LCD screen that doesn’t require any logins or membership fees to access.
The F63 is very easy to use and comes with large console buttons, making it easy to select workouts and the LCD screen is large enough to see all metrics clearly during use.
This treadmill’s console also comes with some nice additional features, like bluetooth speakers, a cooling fan, and a USB charging port that lets you charge your phone during workouts.
There’s also a tablet holder in case you want to watch something on Netflix or follow a fitness app.
And Sole’s warranties are great too – this treadmill comes with a lifetime frame/motor warranty, 2 years on parts, and 1 year on labor.
Oh, and the F63 comes with an 8″ step up, so it’s pretty easy to get up and down from.
So, as long as you’re ok stepping up an average sized step, you shouldn’t have an issues getting on/off this treadmill.
Overall, the impressive performance specs and straightforward console make the F63 a great option for any senior looking for a quality treadmill. See full review.
#3 Matrix Treadmill TF30
Matrix is a higher-end brand that produces both residential and commercial fitness equipment and they’ve got some great treadmills to choose from.
The TF30 is their most popular home model and I could see it making a smart choice for seniors looking for a more commercial-grade feel.
The TF30 is a little smaller than the treadmills already mentioned, but with a running surface of 20″ x 55″, it’ll still offer plenty of room for most seniors.
And with a 3.25 HP motor that can reach a top speed of 12.5 mph and a top incline of 15%, it certainly has the chops to challenge seniors of all skill levels.
I like how heavy-duty this treadmill is (assembled weight of 333 lb) and the fact that it can safely hold folks weighing up to 350 lb is a good sign of its quality of build.
The deck on the TF30 is impressive, but it’s the 7″ step-up height and extra grab rail lining the front of the console that I could see a lot of seniors really appreciating.
This large built-in rail makes it easy to hold on while walking for an added level of safety, which is paramount for our seniors.
When it comes to console features, Matrix allows you to go as simple or as sophisticated as you like.
You can choose between 3 consoles, ranging from the simple LCD ‘XR’ to the 16″ HD touchscreen ‘XIR’, which gives you access to built-in entertainment apps, iFit, screen mirroring, and more.
Matrix treadmills also come with a comfortable cushioning system and are backed by some of the best warranties on the market (lifetime frame/motor, 5 year parts, 2 year labor).
The biggest downside is the cost – with a starting price of around $3k, the TF30 isn’t cheap, but we all know you get what you pay for.
And if you’re looking for a comfortable, well-built treadmill with loads of entertainment options, the TF30 could be worth the investment. See full review.
#4 NordicTrack T 6.5 S
NordicTrack’s one of those brands that needs no introduction – they’ve been around forever and I assume we’ve all heard of ’em before.
Well, NordicTrack has gone all-in with fitness streaming these days and all of their new equipment comes with HD touchscreens and require monthly streaming fees to make the most of ’em.
But their older T 6.5 S doesn’t.
Nope, this older model comes with a nice, straightforward LCD console that needs no streaming membership to use – and it also happens to be one of the best treadmills under $1k (for folks of all ages).
In terms of performance, the T 6.5 S comes with a respectable 2.6 CHP motor and a 20″ x 55″ running surface.
It also comes with a max weight limit of 300 lb, a top speed of 10 mph, and a top incline of 10%.
So, compared to the treadmills mentioned above, the T 6.5 S is a little weaker and comes with a smaller incline range, but these numbers will still get the job done for walkers and joggers.
And the console on this treadmill is also very easy to use, coming with large “start” and “stop” buttons and convenient quick touch keys for both the speed and incline.
An interesting feature found on this treadmill is that it comes with an adjustable shock absorption system that lets you choose between a softer and more firm deck feeling.
It also comes with 20 pre-loaded workout profiles, so if you like the idea of having a lot of workout options, this could be a major perk.
The warranty isn’t bad either, especially for a treadmill in this price range: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor.
Overall, I think the NordicTrack T 6.5 S treadmill is a great option for seniors. It has an easy to use console, large display screen, and adjustable cushioning system.
And at this price, this treadmill is tough to beat. See full review.
#5 Horizon T101
The T101 is Horizon’s most affordable treadmill to date and it’s going to be hard to find a better option in the $600 price range.
This is a smaller, lighter-duty version of the 7.0 AT mentioned earlier, but it’s still got some impressive specs and features for its price.
More specifically, the T101 comes with a 20″ x 55″ running surface and a 2.5 CHP motor that can reach a top speed of 10 mph and a top incline of 10%.
And yes, the T101 also comes with the intuitive dial-controls for both the speed and incline, making it really easy to make adjustments during use.
This affordable treadmill also comes with a step-up height of just over 7″, making it easy to access for a lot of seniors.
The T101 comes with a simple, LED window console that comes with a handful of workout programs, USB charging, and bluetooth compatibility with fitness apps.
And even though the warranty isn’t as generous as what Horizon offers on their higher-end models, it’s still as good as we can expect for this price range: lifetime frame/motor, 1 year parts, 1 year labor.
This treadmill also comes with a 300 lb weight limit, allowing it to accommodate users of various sizes.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable treadmill for walking and jogging, Horizon’s T101 is a nice choice. See full review.
#6 NordicTrack Commercial 1750
NordicTrack’s one of the top selling treadmill brands in the country and they continue to provide some of the best home models year in and year out.
Especially when it comes to streaming workouts.
All of NordicTrack’s treadmills these days are designed to pair with iFit, the streaming platform that gives you access to instructor-led workouts, scenic routes, metric tracking, Automatic Trainer Control, and more.
So, if you like the idea of using all this good stuff, investing in a treadmill like their 1750 could be a good idea.
The Commercial 1750 is one of their mid-range models and it comes with some nice specs and features.
When it comes to performance, this treadmill is packing a 3.5 CHP motor, a 20″ x 60″ running surface, and a heavy-duty frame that comes with a 300 lb weight limit.
Unlike most treadmills, the 1750 can decline down -3% (as well as up to 12%), giving seniors the option to train like they’re walking downhill.
Some might find this to be a nice way to add variety to their walking routine, but what really stands out about this treadmill is the 14″, rotating HD console.
This makes it easy to access iFit, but it also comes with a cooling fan, an integrated tray, and one of the more comfortable shock absorbing systems on the market.
NordicTrack’s warranties aren’t the best, but they aren’t awful either – they back this treadmill with a 10 year frame, 2 year parts, and 1 year labor guarantee.
Overall, if you’re looking for a treadmill that’s streaming friendly and full of features, the Commercial 1750 might be a good fit. See full review.
#7 Sunny Health & Fitness Recovery Walking Treadmill
Rounding out my list here is an affordable walking treadmill from one of the best budget brands around.
Sunny Health & Fitness (SHF) makes a lot of budget-friendly cardio equipment, so they have a ton of treadmills to choose from, but what really stands out about this particular model is the elongated safety rail system.
If you check out the above image, you’ll notice that the safety rails extend back almost the entire length of the deck, essentially giving you a pair of parallel bars to walk between.
This is a great feature for seniors with more advanced balance issues who may not be safe to use more traditional home treadmills.
In terms of size, this is a smaller treadmill, coming with a walking surface of only 19.5″ x 44″.
This wouldn’t be enough room for comfortable running, but as its name implies, this treadmill is designed for walking only.
In which case, the smaller belt size will still get the job done.
It’s also evident that this treadmill is only meant for walking when we consider that it comes with a top speed of 5 mph.
In terms of features, there’s not much to speak of here – it only comes with a simple monitor that’ll track your most basic workout stats.
This is also a lighter-weight treadmill (weighs 123 lb), so it’ll be easier to move around and with a step-up height of only a couple of inches, it’ll be easy to access for most seniors.
Sunny’s warranty isn’t great (3 year frame, 6 month parts), but that’s how it tends to go in this price range.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable treadmill with extra long hand rails, SHF’s Recovery Walking Treadmill is worth checking out.
Never Stop Moving!
As a geriatric physical therapist, I get a lot of first hand experience working with our aging population – it’s an interesting and challenging job that I really enjoy.
I love meeting and working with different patients and their families.
Trust me, I hear some great stories, but it can also be challenging finding ways to adapt exercise to meet the needs of my aging patients.
And a common goal most of my patients share is the need to improve their ability to walk safely.
I see a lot of people that have been in the hospital for some medical reason and when they come home they are weaker and less stable on their feet.
I also treat a lot of folks with balance disorders that are referred to therapy to reduce their future fall risk.
As a therapist, I may have some “tricks” under my sleeve for helping my patients learn to walk more safely, but as I always tell my patients, the only way to get better at walking, is to practice walking.
This sounds really simple, but it’s true.
I spend a lot of time just walking with my patients because it improves strength and endurance and it’s a safe way for them to get the exercise they need.
Walking is equally important for our healthy seniors too though.
Walking regularly has many benefits for seniors, including:
- improved cardiovascular health
- improved bone mass
- improved functional mobility
- improved strength
- improved mental health
- decreased pain levels
And these are just a few of the benefits walking can provide.
Unfortunately as we age, our lifestyle tends to become more sedentary. With time, this causes us to lose muscle mass, lose strength, and ultimately lose the ability to care for ourselves.
I believe one of the best things we can do for ourselves as we age is to continue staying active.
We all know the saying: “If you don’t use it, you lose it” – well, this is very true and unfortunately, once you lose it, it’s a whole lot harder to get it back.
So, besides all the health benefits listed above, the number one reason seniors should walk for exercise is to maintain the ability to safely walk.
If we walk regularly, our chances of continuing to be able to walk are much higher.
And I’m assuming that we all want to maintain our mobility as much as possible for as long as possible.
Well, turns out walking for exercise is one of the best ways most of us can do this, but that said, walking can be uncomfortable when dealing with achy joints.
In these cases, going with a low impact exercise machine, like a recumbent cross trainer or recumbent bike, might be a good idea.
Finding The Best Treadmills For Seniors
Walking can be done anywhere and you by no means need a treadmill to walk for exercise, but it’s a nice tool because the weather is always nice inside your home.
You don’t have to worry about walking around the uneven yard or driveway if you have a treadmill in your home.
A treadmill offers a nice, comfortable walking surface year-round.
So although a treadmill isn’t necessary, it can certainly make things more convenient.
I’m always happy when my patients have a treadmill (or exercise bike).
When they do, one of our goals is often to get them back to the point where they can start using their equipment safely again.
Finding the best treadmills for seniors might be a little different than finding a treadmill for the younger folks out there, but it isn’t that much different.
It really boils down to what you want a treadmill for.
Again, I’m assuming most of the seniors reading this are looking for a nice walking treadmill, but that doesn’t mean seniors can’t still be running.
I’ve personally known several folks who were still running well into their 80’s and beyond…incredible.
Most of the seniors I work with are also less interested in the high-tech features like bluetooth and streaming, but again, to each their own.
If you’re looking for a streaming treadmill or one with more features, there are plenty of options for these treadmills too.
So, what should we be looking for when shopping for a senior friendly treadmill?
A treadmill’s “running surface” refers to the physical dimensions of the belt and it tells you how much room you’ll have when using the treadmill (whether you’re running or walking).
The running surface is measured in inches and is usually written as “width x length”.
Having a larger running surface is always a good thing because it makes for a more spacious feel, but it’s especially important for taller runners.
Simply put, if the belt is too short, you could find yourself having to shorten your stride, which would make things feel less natural.
When comparing treadmills, it’s a good idea to go with one with at least a 20″ width and if you plan on running, a 60″ length.
Walkers can get away with a shorter length, but it’s still a good idea to try and find one with at least a 55″ length to ensure plenty of room.
Put that all together and it means you’re looking for a running surface of at least 20″ x 55″.
Motor strength isn’t quite as essential if you’re planning on walking only, but when in doubt, a stronger motor is always preferred.
Mostly because the stronger a motor is, the less it has to work to keep up with demand – which should make for a smoother feel.
Most home treadmills come with motors in the 2 – 4 CHP (continuous horsepower) range and if you plan on running, it’s a good idea to go with a treadmill with at least a 3 CHP motor.
For walking only, 2- 3 CHP can usually get the job done just fine.
But if you’re looking for the best treadmill experience possible, going with a stronger motor is recommended.
Oh, something else to keep in mind is that stronger motors can usually accelerate faster than weaker ones.
Even though most treadmills come with more or less the same top speed, stronger motors can go from a slower speed to a faster speed more rapidly, which can be a nice convenience when doing interval training.
Something to consider.
This one’s true for anybody looking to buy a treadmill, but it’s so important, I figured I’d mention it here too.
Longer warranties are obviously always better and treadmill warranties will vary greatly depending on brand and cost.
Treadmill warranties are generally divided into the following sections:
- Frame- this should be the longest and most nicer treadmills will come with lifetime frame guarantees
- Motor- the best treadmills will often offer lifetime motor guarantees as well
- Parts- this guarantee will vary depending on price, but expect anywhere from 1 – 5 years here, although some go above and beyond go offer 10 year parts guarantees
- Labor- this warranty covers the cost of having pros come in and repair your treadmill and most brands only offer a year here, but some will offer up to 2 years
Easy To Use
In my experience, most seniors who are looking for a treadmill want one that’s easy to use.
Most don’t want a lot of fancy screens and features they have to mess with every time they want to work out – instead, a simple console that’s straightforward to navigate is preferred.
But again, if you want a higher-tech console with entertainment apps and instructor-led workouts, these options are out there too.
Either way, I would certainly compare console features when looking at different options.
Having a “quick start” button might be a nice perk because with this, you simply get on, push that button, and off you go.
Having quick touch buttons for the incline and speed settings is also nice because you simply touch the speed/incline you want and you don’t have to mess with pushing up/down buttons.
Most treadmills come with at least a few built-in workout programs too, which can be nice to use.
Oh, a lot of home treadmills fold these days, so if space is limited, having a folding treadmill can be very helpful.
But if you worry about being able to physically fold the deck back up, you might want to find a treadmill with an automatic folding mechanism that takes care of it for ya with the push of a button.
A treadmill’s step-up height refers to how high the deck is off the ground – in other words, this is how high you’ll have to step up to access the treadmill.
If you’re dealing with stiff, achy joints or otherwise have mobility issues, this could be a spec worth checking out before making a purchase.
Not all brands offer this info upfront, so it can be a little harder to find sometimes, but most home treadmills come with a step-up height of 8-9″.
That said, there are lower treadmills out there with 7″ step-up heights, as we’ll see below.
It’s also worth knowing that treadmills that offer decline functions typically come with slightly higher step-up heights (to make room for the declining).
If you’re a little nervous about using a treadmill or are worried at all about maintaining your balance while walking, it could be advantageous to look for a treadmill with longer handrails.
Believe it or not, handrail length varies between treadmills, as does the size and number of handles.
Having longer handrails and more grip options is never a bad thing, but it can be a nice benefit for seniors who may require a little extra support.
Most treadmills don’t offer this spec, so it can be hard to compare between models, but looking at images and seeing how far along the deck the handrails extend can help.
There are also some treadmills out there with extra long handrails that extend significantly farther out and these are pretty obvious.
All home treadmills are going to come with some type of shock absorption system built into the deck and there’s no particularly objective way to compare between brands.
Some are softer than others, but honestly, most moderately-priced treadmills come with more or less the same shock systems.
Higher-end, more expensive treadmills (think Life Fitness, Precor, or Matrix) tend to come with more sophisticated systems and if you’re worried about minimizing stress through your joints as much as possible, it may be worth it to invest in a nicer treadmill.
That said, walking on a treadmill is generally lower impact than walking outside.
So, if you can walk outside on a firm surface comfortably, you’ll likely find walking on a treadmill at least as comfortable.
But when in doubt, go try walking on a treadmill to make sure – the last thing you wanna do is buy a treadmill and not be able to use it!
Ok, I think that about does it.
It wasn’t easy coming up with this list because there are a lot of great treadmills on the market right now and I had a hard time narrowing it down.
It ultimately came down to what I thought most seniors would be looking for out of a treadmill – a machine that’s easy to use, dependable, and backed by a great warranty.
When looking for a treadmill, I encourage you to consider the running surface, motor strength, and warranties – these specs tell you a lot about a machine.
And if you’re looking for a treadmill that’s easy to use, I’d avoid touchscreens and streaming memberships – they can make things more complicated than they need to be.
If you have mobility issues or have a hard time with curbs or steps, make sure you keep a close eye on that step-up height too.
Luckily, as I hope the above list illustrates, there are plenty of well-priced treadmills out there that are quite senior-friendly.
Anyway, I hope you found this guide helpful and maybe even a little entertaining.
And as always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave ’em below and I’ll get right back to you.