How To Choose Between Folding And Non-folding Treadmill

Treadmills are some of the most popular workout machines on the market. But more importantly, there are 2 types of treadmills depending on their structural designs; folding and non-folding treadmills.

Although both options offer great workout sessions, when you're planning to buy one for your home, you must settle on a certain type. So, what's the right treadmill to buy?

Most people choose a folding treadmill for the obvious reason of saving space due to its compact and foldable design.

However, there are other aspects to consider when comparing a folding Vs non-folding treadmill. That's exactly what I'll look at in this article. Better yet, I'll show you the benefits and drawbacks of each treadmill type to help you make an informed decision.

What Is a Folding Treadmill?

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As the name implies, a folding treadmill can be folded and put away in another place when not in use. Other than that, it functions and looks like a standard treadmill. In addition, some foldable treadmills are equipped with wheels on the bottom to increase their portability further.

In recent years, foldable treadmills have become quite popular among fitness enthusiasts. Thanks to the various featured programs they come with. Moreover, Some models provide basic features, while others come with advanced designs with special features like calorie counters, heart rate monitors, etc. More notably, treadmills that fold up for storage come in 2 variations; manual treadmills and motorized treadmills.

Benefits of Folding Treadmill Models

1. Save space

The most unique thing about folding treadmills like Ancheer 2 in 1 folding treadmill is that they take up less space compared to a non-folding machine. For that, they're a great option for small spaces and home gyms with limited space. Besides, you only need to fold them up and store them away when you're not working out on the machine.

The best part? These workout equipment have additional features like security locks that keep them in place when folded. In addition, a few foldable treadmills either have a lifting system or an automated deck dropping system to make them easy to fold.

2. Highly portable

Folding treadmills are generally easier to move around compared to their non-folding counterparts. As a result, you can easily move them from one room to another or take them with you while travelling. And as I mentioned earlier, some of these machines are even equipped with wheels, making them much easier to transport.

3. They make it easy to clean the house after working out

Another benefit of foldable treadmills is that they make cleaning easier. Simply fold up the machine after exercising, store it away and clean or vacuum the floor area under the treadmill.

4. Affordable

Foldable treadmills are a great option if you are on a budget since they're usually more affordable than non-folding models. Generally speaking, these treadmills have a price range of about $500 to $1000.

What Is a Non-folding Treadmill?

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Unlike foldable treadmill models, fixed or non-folding treadmills cannot be folded and have a larger footprint. Although this design makes them less portable, they're more stable, stronger, and tougher than their folding counterparts. More importantly, their design only features essential components like roller, belts, motor, and steel frame.

In addition, they cost more than foldable units because of their motor power, stability, and overall quality of the machine. At the same time, these treadmills perform at the highest standard, allowing them to accommodate users of various weights. As a result, non-folding units are commonly used in sports clinics and commercial treadmills.

Benefits of Non-folding Treadmill Models

1. Larger motor & treadmill belt size

Motor size plays a crucial role in determining how powerful a treadmill is. Thankfully, non-folding models usually have a larger motor than folding units. This allows them to accommodate more user weight and offers a smoother, more consistent exercise.

Similarly, due to their large footprint, non-folding treadmills have a wider belt. This gives users more room and space to run or walk on the machine.

2. Stability

Stability is a crucial aspect to consider when looking for a good treadmill. This prevents the treadmill from shuddering or wobbling when you increase your pace. Moreover, stability ensures that the machine feels solid and secure when walking or running on it.

That said, non-folding treadmills are more stable than folding units. This is because they're equipped with features you may not find on a foldable treadmill for home use like heavy-duty steel frame construction, sturdy base, etc. Besides, non-folding units are sturdier, stronger, and have a great overall feel. As a result, treadmill users can exercise on the machine without it wobbling regardless of their weight.

Tips on Choosing Between Folding and Non-folding Treadmills

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When it comes to convenience, Folding treadmill models might be the better option than non-folding models. However, non-folding units also offer some distinct benefits you can't overlook.

To help you make the right decision, here are some factors you should consider when comparing folding Vs non-folding treadmill models;

1. Cost

If you're planning to use your treadmill regularly and for a reasonable amount of time, you may want to spend more on the machine. For instance, for running workouts, your bottom limit should be around $1,500. However, if you intend to use the machine for walking workouts, you should spend at least $1,000 on the machine. 

2. Stability of folding treadmills vs non-folding treadmill models

In general, cheaper treadmills have a flimsy frame construction. However, as you try to choose between folding vs non-folding treadmill units, you should not set a budget that will force you to compromise stability. Also, make sure you jump, walk and run on the machine to see if it provides a stable workout.

If you feel the treadmill is solid enough, its quality is good and ideal for your needs. 

Foldable treadmill models usually have reduced stability compared to their non-foldable units due to their collapsible frame design. Moreover, they are equipped with a smaller base, making them less stable than folding treadmills. As a result, they usually wobble while working out, especially if you are running at high speeds.

So, if you want a highly stable treadmill for heavy-duty workouts, non-folding treadmills are a better option.

3. Max Weight capacity

Non-folding and folding treadmill weight limit ranges from 250 lbs to around 400lbs. However, the weight limit listed by most treadmill manufacturers is probably more than the machine can handle. For that reason, you should subtract around 50 lbs from the recommended weight capacity to get a more reasonable limit. Also, you should choose a machine with a higher weight limit to extend the treadmill's longevity and avoid straining its motor. 

4. Portability & storage

Folding treadmills equipped with wheels on the bottom are easy to move around after exercise. Besides, most of these treadmills have a compact design, making them highly portable and foldable.

On the contrary, non-folding treadmills tend to take up a lot of space. This makes it necessary to have a non folding treadmill cover when you’re planning to store them away.

All in all, to determine whether to choose a folding or non-folding treadmill, you need to check the available space in your home. Also, consider the ceiling height since you'll be raising many inches on the machine, especially if you're planning to store the treadmill in a room with a sloping or low ceiling.

Folding or Non-folding Treadmill - Which is Best for You?

The discussion about which exercise equipment is better, non-folding or folding treadmill, has been going on for some time now. Some treadmill users claim that folding models are better since they take up less space in the home gyms and offices. While others believe non-folding treadmills are better because they will last longer and are sturdier.

So, which one do you choose?

For starters, one of the common differences between folding vs non-folding treadmill units is that folding unit are more compact. For that, they're easy to store away when not in use, making them the better option if you are concerned about space. For instance, they're suitable for people living in small spaces like apartments.

On the other hand, folding treadmills are way ahead of their non-folding counterparts if you're concerned about stability. Specifically, non-folding units have a larger base, allowing users to run at high speeds without making the machine wobble.


1. What is the best folding treadmill to buy?

There are many high-quality foldable treadmills on the market. They include: Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill, ProForm Smart Pro 2000, XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 Folding Treadmill.

2. How to fold a treadmill?

Some treadmills are equipped with a foldable deck for convenient storage and transportation. To fold such treadmills, firmly hold the back end of your machine. Then, carefully lift the end of its deck into an upright position until its safety lock latch engages to secure the deck into position. 

3. Can you run on a folding treadmill?

Most foldable treadmills lack the quality construction and stability needed to run at high speeds or longer distances. However, some folding models have high-quality components that allow users to run on the machine. 

4. Do folding treadmills have an incline?

Many foldable treadmills provide an incline range of up to 12%, while others even provide declines of up to 5%. However, some foldable treadmills don't provide incline settings at all. So, before settling on a specific folding treadmill, check whether it has incline/ decline settings. 

5. Are folding treadmills any good?

Folding treadmills are considered a storage space saver, thanks to their foldable and compact design. Also, these machines are highly affordable, making them a great option for people on a budget. Best of all, some foldable treadmills have good safety features and advanced features like calorie counting, heart rate monitor, etc. 


To sum up, space, budget, and your fitness goals are some of the most important factors you need to consider when choosing between a Folding vs non-folding treadmill. If you've got limited space in your home, a folding treadmill with a smaller deck and narrow space will be a great option.

However, you must also consider other key features like deck cushioning, motor capacity, weight limit, training programs, and decline/ incline setting.

Regardless of the type of treadmill you choose, both fitness machines will offer various benefits to your exercise routine. Moreover, it's good to first know the differences between folding and non-folding treadmill models. This will help you find the right fitness equipment that will suit your needs and weight loss or fitness goals.

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