It’s not easy finding time to exercise these days.
With busy family and work schedules, sometimes it just seems like there’s no time to hit the gym. But with under desk treadmills, you can literally exercise while you work.
Instead of just sitting there, ruining your posture, you can burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health- all from your desk.
But in order to find the best under desk treadmills, you have to know what to look for.
Don’t worry, you came to the right place.
This guide will walk you through the key specs and features to consider when comparing these ingenious machines. Then I’ll provide my top picks based on the specs we discussed.
By the time you finish this article, you’ll know exactly what to look for and where to find it.
Let’s get started.
|Walking Surface (W x L)||Motor / Top Speed||Weight Capacity||Warranty|
|#1 The Unsit||30" x 40"||2.75 HP|
|400 lb||Lifetime frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#2 LifeSpan TR5000-GlowUp||20" x 50"||3.0 HP|
|400 lb||10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#3 LifeSpan TR1200-GlowUp||20" x 50"||2.25 HP|
|350 lb||10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#4 LifeSpan TR1000-GlowUp||20" x 44"||2.25 HP|
|350 lb||10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year labor
|#5 UREVO 2 in 1||17" x 42.5"||2.5 HP|
|265 lb||12 months|
|#6 WalkingPad A1 Pro||16.5" x 47"||?|
|220 lb||12 months|
What Is An Under Desk Treadmill?
I think it’s a good idea to make sure we’re all on the same page here.
The name pretty much says it all- an under desk treadmill (sometimes known as a treadmill “base”) is a small treadmill that fits under your desk, allowing you to walk (instead of sit) while you work at your desk.
Pretty simple, but there’s a little more to it than that.
There are 2 basic types of under desk treadmill: those that don’t include a table workstation and those that do include a table workstation (treadmill desk system or integrated treadmill desk).
For the purpose of this review, I’m only talking about the ones that don’t include a workstation.
This means you have to supply your own standing desk. These are usually preferred because you get to pick your own standing desk separately (which usually means you get a larger, more functional work space).
And yes, you guessed it, a “standing desk” is a higher desk designed to be used standing up instead of sitting.
Under desk treadmills are sometimes referred to as “treadmill bases”, because they can look just like a traditional treadmill, minus the handrails and console.
A lot of the under desk treadmills (especially the early ones) were basically just normal treadmills that had their rails and consoles removed.
This sounds like it might make sense, but think about how tall, heavy, and noisy a lot of normal treadmills are- would you want to have one of these running in your office while you work?
Luckily, the nicer ones these days are specifically designed as desk treadmills.
This means less noise, smaller profiles, and lighter weight machines that are easier to move around.
I know a lot of corporate offices are starting to use standing desks.
Just like the whole stability ball chair thing, it’s all about finding ways to keep employees healthier at work – and it’s a well known fact that sitting all day is bad for your health for many reasons.
If you already have a standing desk at work, it might not take too much persuading to get a treadmill under it.
And if you’re your own boss or you work from home, then it’s your call.
How To Pick An Under Desk Treadmill
It’s important to have a set of criteria to use to compare treadmills against each other.
This is the only way to ensure we are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
And when we use the same criteria for each machine, it’s easier to see which machines stand out from the pack.
I suggest you consider the following criteria when comparing under desk treadmills (these specs are actually really similar to the ones you should use when comparing traditional home treadmills too.
The motor is a good place to start.
The motor strength is measured in horsepower (HP) with higher numbers indicating a stronger motor.
And since under desk treadmills are designed for walking (I couldn’t imagine trying to run while performing desk work), they don’t pack quite as much horsepower as the home treadmills designed for running.
Although it turns out walking at a slow speed (1-2 mph) actually requires more torque from the motor than running on it does and a lot of strong motors aren’t necessarily designed to produce these higher torques at slow speeds.
Even so, it’s usually preferable to go with a stronger motor, because they tend to provide smoother, quieter operation.
Under desk treadmills come with motors in the 1 -3 HP range and when possible, it’s a good idea to go with one closer to 3.0 HP.
For more information, check out this great article on treadmill powertrains.
Belt Size (Walking Surface)
This is a big one in terms of comfort.
Having a larger belt size means you have more room to walk.
Would you like to have to walk in a straight line or would you rather have a little wiggle room? Most of us would opt for the wiggle room.
Since under desk treadmills are designed for walking, you don’t need quite as much length as you do on a running treadmill, but width is still just as important.
Belt size is measured in inches and most of these treadmills have widths in the 18-20″ range, with 20″ being preferred.
Most of these treadmills have lengths in the 40-50″ range, with closer to 50″ being preferred for comfortable walking (being able to walk naturally without having to worry about shortening your stride).
The actual dimensions of the treadmill is important to consider here too because you have to know how much room you need in your office space.
And an important aspect here that isn’t as important on standard treadmills is the height of the base (aka, “step-up height”).
Which is important to know because you need to make sure your standing desk fits appropriately.
Max Weight Capacity
This something you should consider anytime you buy any type of fitness equipment you have to sit or stand on because you have to know that you can safely use the product, first and foremost.
Also, the max weight capacity gives us a nice objective way of determine how robust and sturdy these treadmills are.
Treadmills with higher weight capacities are usually, generally speaking, better built.
I only weigh about 200 lb (“only”, ha!), but I look for at least a 300 lb weight limit on any equipment I purchase.
Something else worth considering is the weight of the treadmill (assembled weight) itself.
I usually like to see a higher assembled weight because it’s indicative of a heavier-duty machine, but if you know you’ll have to be moving your under desk treadmill regularly, being lighter weight could be a benefit for the sake of convenience.
Last, but not least, is the warranty.
You always, always, always want to check the warranty before making a purchase – after all, this is your insurance plan in case something goes wrong.
And better treadmills tend to have better warranties, although this rule isn’t written in stone anywhere.
More expensive treadmills tend to have better warranties too.
Cheaper products tend to be constructed out of materials of lower quality (hence their lower price), and their brands know this- so they expect their products to fail sooner than later.
Quality treadmills usually come with lifetime frame warranties. Motor warranties vary, but 3 years is pretty good.
Shoot for at least 2 years on parts.
Labor warranties are rarely greater than a year.
Alright, that about does it for the buyer’s guide, so let’s get to the good stuff already.
The 6 Best Under Desk Treadmills
#1 The Unsit Under Desk Treadmill
It’s a tough call between the Unsit and some of the Lifespan models below and really, there’s no wrong answers here – it all depends on what’s most important to ya.
But what really sets the Unsit apart from every other under desk treadmill on this list is its extra wide walking surface.
With a 30″ wide belt (yeah, 30″… remember up above when I said most stop at 20″ widths?), the Unsit is a good 10″ wider than any other treadmill on this list.
And personally, I think the extra width is a great perk because it gives you plenty of wiggle room to sway side to side without falling off.
The Unsit is also shorter than most under desk treadmills- its belt is only 40″ long, giving it more of a square shape than a rectangle.
This could be handy for offices where floor space is limited because the treadmill isn’t going to hang out very far behind the desk.
When it comes to under the hood, this treadmill is packing a powerful, 2.75 CHP motor that is also designed to run smoothly at lower walking speeds.
The Unsit only has a max speed of 2.0 mph, so this is truly a treadmill designed for desk work – if you like the idea of having a faster treadmill you can use during work breaks, this probably isn’t your best bet.
But the frame is heavy-duty, allowing it to handle users up to 400 lb and the Unsit is backed by a great warranty too: lifetime frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor.
Besides the extra wide walking surface, it’s worth noting that this treadmill is designed for commercial use, meaning it can handle continuous use all day (no maximum daily use time). See full review.
#2 LifeSpan Fitness TR5000-GlowUp Under Desk Treadmill
LifeSpan’s one of those home fitness brands that I think tends to get overlooked – they’re not flashy and they don’t always have the most interesting products, but their cardio machines are legit and well-priced.
That said, I think they’re probably more known for their office fitness equipment than anything else.
Maybe I’m wrong…regardless, the TR5000 has a lot going for it.
Right off the bat, this treadmill is sporting a 3.0 HP motor, which is one of the strongest you’re gonna see on any under desk treadmill.
And that strong motor allows the TR5000 to reach a max speed of 4.0 mph, something else most office treadmills can’t do.
Now it would be nearly impossible to do any kind of work while walking at 4 mph, but this might come in handy if you wanted to take a break from work and do a faster pace walk for a more strenuous workout.
LifeSpan gives you the option to set your max speed on this model to 2.0 mph as well, for safety reasons.
The TR5000 also comes with a 20″ x 50″ belt, which should be spacious enough for comfortable walking.
Speaking of the belt, this treadmill comes with an extra thick, maintenance free belt as well.
Meaning you don’t have to lubricate it regularly (eventually you will probably have to start lubricating, but that could take years).
This treadmill has a pretty compact design with a step-up height of less than 5″ – which is good because it shouldn’t be difficult for your standing desk to accommodate the extra height of this machine.
The TR5000 is also quite heavy-duty, coming with a 400 lb weight capacity and an assembled weight of 119 lb.
When it comes to the warranty, LifeSpan isn’t quite as generous as they used to be, but they’re still covering the TR5000 with a solid guarantee: 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor.
You also get to choose between 2 consoles – the Retro (perfect name because this thing looks like it came straight out of the ’80’s) and the newer Omni-Hub.
Both consoles can track your walking stats, but the Omni-Hub is more compact, offers a nicer display, and is bluetooth compatible with LifeSpan’s app.
The TR5000 also comes with a nice feature that counts your steps and will automatically turn off if no one is on it.
All things considered, this is a powerful under desk treadmill that’s rated for up to 9 hours of daily use, so if you want a machine that can keep up with ya throughout the whole work day, this is a great choice.
#3 LifeSpan TR1200-GlowUp Under Desk Treadmill
Yup, another LifeSpan treadmill made the list.
Designed for a single user (as opposed to the top 2 treadmills that can easily handle multiple users), the TR1200 lacks several upgrades that make the TR5000 so impressive.
But even so, the TR1200 is still LifeSpan’s most popular under desk treadmill and it’s pretty easy to see why.
And this treadmill has some impressive specs in its own right that deserve attention – and with a price tag significantly lower than the TR5000, the TR1200 may just be the best buy of the bunch.
This treadmill comes with a 2.25 HP motor, which is significantly weaker than the 2 previous motors we’ve discussed, but it can still reach a max speed of 4.0 mph.
And just like the TR5000, you can change the max speed to 2.0 mph if you prefer, for the sake of safety.
The TR1200 comes with the same spacious belt as the more expensive models above.
With a walking surface of 20″ x 50″, even taller users should be able to walk comfortably on this machine.
And with a max weight capacity of 350 lb, this treadmill can handle the majority of folks out there, although it is a bit lower than the TR5000’s limit.
This plays into the fact that this treadmill isn’t quite as robust, but with a single user in mind, it should hold up well.
And in case it doesn’t, it comes with the same warranty as the TR5000- 10 year frame, 2 year parts, and 1 year labor.
And yes, this treadmill comes with the same cosmetically challenged console as the TR5000, but for an extra $100 you can upgrade to the same Omni-Hub.
Overall, the LifeSpan TR1200 is a great under desk treadmill for single users or small teams that won’t have it running all day (6 hour daily max).
With decent specs and a reasonable asking price, there’s good reason why this has become one of the most popular under desk treadmills around.
#4 LifeSpan TR1000-GlowUp Under Desk Treadmill
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record here or anything, but the fact is simply that LifeSpan makes a lot of the best under desk treadmills around.
They’re easy to use, packed with great features, and affordable.
Speaking of which, the TR1000 is one of their newer models and it’s their entry-level under desk treadmill, coming in just a little cheaper than the TR1200 above.
And it’s very similar to the TR1200 in terms of specs and features.
This treadmill also comes with a 2.25 HP motor, a max speed of 4.0 mph (can be changed to max of 2.0 mph), and a max user weight of 350 lb.
The biggest difference here is that the TR1000 is about 6″ shorter than the TR1200, allowing it to fit in tighter spaces.
This also means the walking surface is 6″ smaller too though.
With a walking surface of 20″ x 44″, taller walkers might have to be careful they don’t accidentally stretch off the end of it.
But if your office is smaller and every inch of floorspace counts, the TR1000’s compact size could be a lifesaver.
LifeSpan also backs this model with the same warranty on their more expensive machines – 10 year frame, 2 year parts, 1 year labor.
This treadmill comes standard with the Retro console, fyi.
Overall, another great LifeSpan under desk treadmill, but this one is designed specifically for smaller spaces.
#5 UREVO 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill
If you’re looking for something more affordable, UREVO’s 2 in 1 is worth considering.
This is one of the most popular under desk treadmill’s on Amazon and with an asking price that’s roughly a third of what the TR1000 costs, it’s a pretty good deal too.
The “2 in 1″ part comes from the fact that there’s a little handle that can fold up with a console attached, giving you something to hold onto in case you ever want to use it without a desk.
When it comes to performance, the UREVO is a lot smaller, coming with a walking surface of only 17″ x 42.5”, so you won’t have as much wiggle room as the treadmills above offer.
But with a 2.5 HP motor and a max speed of 7.6 mph (with frame unfolded), the UREVO can function as a more traditional treadmill as well.
And with a net weight of only 60 lb or so, this treadmill shouldn’t be too hard to move either.
Oh, there’s also an included remote control that allows you to control the speed of the treadmill when using it as an under desk treadmill – which is crucial, considering you wouldn’t be able to control it without one.
One downside is that UREVO only covers this treadmill with a 12 month warranty, but at this price range, this shouldn’t be a big surprise.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable under desk treadmill with some surprising power, UREVO’s 2 in 1 should be a top contender. See full review.
#6 WalkingPad A1 Pro Foldable Under Desk Treadmill
Rounding out my list here is a unique folding treadmill unlike any other I’ve come across.
Now most traditional home treadmills are capable of folding vertically for storage after workouts, so there’s nothing too exciting about simply folding…
But the A1 Pro folds in half like a suitcase.
Yeah, the walking surface on this treadmill can fold, allowing you to pick it up and carry it like a suitcase if you like – now it weighs like 60 lb, so it wouldn’t be a light suitcase, but still.
And there’s built-in transport wheels, so you can roll it around too.
The walking surface on the A1 Pro is 16.5″ x 47″, making it quite a bit longer than the UREVO mentioned above.
And with a max speed of 3.7 mph, you can walk at a pretty stiff pace if you like.
There’s a built-in console into the front end of the base, displaying your time and the A1 Pro comes with a sleek remote control allowing you to control the speed while working.
Oh, I should mention that the A1 Pro is only 5″ high (folded or unfolded), making it easy to fit under some couches and beds for storage.
WalkingPad backs their folding treadmill with a 1 year warranty, which isn’t great, but for this price range it’s pretty expected.
Overall, if you’re looking for an under desk treadmill that you could easily take to and from the office, WalkingPad’s A1 Pro could be a great fit.
Under desk treadmills can be a great way to get more exercise and stay active at work.
They’ve also been shown to help improve productivity and with a lot of offices going to standing desks already, the transition to desk treadmills can be pretty painless.
When searching for the best under desk treadmills, make sure you consider the following specs:
- Belt size
- Treadmill size (dimensions)
- Weight capacity
Keeping a close eye on the above stats should help you find the best product for your budget, so it’s a good idea to compare ’em when thinking about prospective treadmills.
Long-story-short: the best under desk treadmill on the market right now is likely the Unsit with its extra wide belt, but LifeSpan’s TR5000 is right there with it.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the LifeSpan desk treadmills because they’re all pretty impressive.
Well, I hope this guide was helpful.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below and I’ll get right back to ya.