10 Best Treadmills For Bad Knees

Workout and engage your muscles without making it difficult for your hurt knees.

Reviewed by Robert Savin, Master Trainer
Written by Aditi Naskar, Diploma In Health & Wellness
Edited by Medha Deb
Fact-checked by Rajeshwari Das  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Exercising becomes a greater ordeal when you have bad knees. But with the right type of exercise, you can expect the pain in your knees to gradually decrease, giving you better stability and balance. And one such exercise could be using the best treadmill for bad knees. In fact, studies point out that one of the best ways for those with osteoarthritis for pain reduction and better quality of life is walking on a treadmill (1), (2).

Designed specifically for low-impact exercise, treadmills made for bad knees work your muscles out without worsening the pain. Features such as cushioning in the belt and a good incline make this possible. Now that you know a treadmill can help, let’s aid you in choosing one if you have bad knees.

Backward walking on the treadmill is especially recommended for bulletproof knees, whether you’re fresh out of an ACL surgery or simply feel like your knees are beginning to ache. A common deficit after knee surgery is the inability to fully lengthen your knee.

Backward walking on the treadmill naturally forces the knee joint to straighten resulting in an improved range of motion. Furthermore, backward walking effectively stimulates the VMO (one of four quadriceps muscles) which is adamant for knee stability and overall knee health.

A simple, yet effective program is to begin backward walking at level 1 for 20 minutes. On a weekly basis aim to either increase your time (by 5-10 mins) and/or increase the speed level (one higher per week).

After a few weeks of progression, you can expect to notice an improvement in your overall knee health, decreased pain, and increased stability for regular walking/running.

Top Picks
CHECK PRICE
Best Overall:FYC Folding TreadmillPrice on Amazon
Best For Easy Transportation: Bowflex Tread Climber TC20
Price on Amazon
Best Easy To Store: Sunny Health And Fitness Walking Treadmill SF-T7857
Price on Amazon
Best For Multimedia Support: Proform Performance 300i Treadmill
Price on Amazon
Best User-Friendly: Lifespan Fitness TR3000i Treadmill
Price on Amazon
Best Non-Slip Track: Real Relax 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill
Price on Amazon
Best Quiet Operation: Horizon Fit T202 Treadmill
Price on Amazon
Best Easy To Assemble:UREVO Folding TreadmillPrice on Amazon
Best Speed Control Function:NordicTrack T 6.5 Si TreadmillPrice on Amazon
Best Foldable Design: Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
Price on Amazon

10 Best Treadmills For Bad Knees

1. Best Lightweight:FYC Folding Treadmill

3.7

The FYC Folding Treadmill is built of high-quality, long-lasting steel that does not tremble during your runs. The multilayer composite running belt is non-slip and offers useful knee, back, and ankle joint cushioning. It is equipped with a 2.5 horsepower motor that can provide speeds up to 7.5 mph, for a safe and quiet workout experience. The treadmill features a multifunctional LCD display that shows your speed, time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate. It gives you a smooth stride and is gentle on the joints.

The best part is you stay connected to the treadmill by a safety emergency key with a clip, which stops it instantly in an emergency and safeguards you while you workout. There are four buttons in the handrail, making it simple to start, stop, and speed up and down without removing your hands. The treadmill has built-in Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to connect your smartphone or tablet to stream music or access fitness apps. It is simple to move and store, takes up little room, and is ideal for use in the home or office, thanks to its foldable design and transport wheels.

Material: Rubber | Color: Black | Material: ‎Rubber | Color: ‎Black

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to fold
  • Anti-slip
  • Shock-proof
  • Portable
  • Noiseless operation
  • Space-saving design
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $299.99

2. Best Multifunctional: Bowflex Tread Climber TC20

3.3
Bowflex TreadClimber TC20 Image: Bowflex

The Bowflex Tread Climber TC20 minimizes the impact on your knees while running and is best for household use. Its dual treadle system is a combination of a treadmill, an elliptical trainer, and a stair climber. The Goal Oriented Coaching technology helps in tailoring activity and fitness goals based on personal needs. It provides knee pain relief, low impact cardio, and is arthritis-friendly.

This three-in-one cardio machine is integrated with a wireless heart rate monitor that helps maximize workout efficiency. It comes with three landmarks and five standard workouts that can be programmed. The backlit LCD enables easy monitoring of the speed, time, calories, heart rate, elevation, and distance. The ergonomic console holds a water bottle and books for easy access. This product also features a Bowflex body weight loss plan, an instant Quick Start, transport wheels for easy mobility, a speed range of 0.5 to 4.5 miles per hour, and extra-long foot treadles. To find out more about this Bowflex Tread Climber TC20, watch this Youtuber’s review video.

Item Weight: ‎217 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎55 x 31.5 x 55.25 inches

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 55 x 31.5 x 55.25 inches
  • Weight: 217 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 lbs
  • Belt Size: 51 x 30.5 inches
  • Music Port: No

Pros

  • Wireless heart rate monitor
  • 3-year warranty
  • Extra-long foot treadles
  • Comes with wheels for easy transportation

Cons

  • Not durable

protip_icon Caution
Do not set the treadmill incline too steep (more than 7 percent) as it places too much strain on your back, hips, and ankles.

Price at the time of publication: $3799.0

3. Best Easy To Store: Sunny Health And Fitness Walking Treadmill SF-T7857

4.5
Sunny Health & Fitness Walking Treadmill with Low Wide Deck and Multi-Grip Handrails for Balance, 295 LB Max Weight - SF-T7857, Gray Image: Sunny Health & Fitness

This Sunny Health and Fitness Walking Treadmill offers shock absorption for low impact on the knees while walking. It has a speed range of 0.6mph- 5 mph that allows you to go from a slow walk to a quick jog. The quick speed and dedicated mode button let you personalize the training goals. The multi-grip handrails assist in various workouts for the arms, shoulders, back, and lower body.

This treadmill is also equipped with non-slip foam padded handlebars for added support. The user-friendly console with a backlit LED screen displays the speed, calories, and distance modules. The low profile deck and front-mounted transportation wheels enable easy storage and movement of this equipment, respectively. You can stop the treadmill instantly when necessary, using the emergency safety key – just pull the magnetic key from the console. If you are still unsure, check out this honest review.

Frame Material: ‎Alloy Steel | Material: ‎Alloy Steel | Item Weight: ‎123 Pounds | Product Dimensions: ‎29"D x 58"W x 53"H | Color: ‎Gray

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 58 x 29 x 53 inches
  • Weight: 123 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 295 lbs
  • Belt Size: 49 x 19.5 inches
  • Music Port: No

Pros

  • Easy to store
  • Comes with handrails
  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Takes a while to assemble

protip_icon Caution
Check your posture and avoid leaning forward while walking on the treadmill. You may end up with neck and back pain, or lose your balance.

Why It’s Worth Buying: It has gained over 633 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.
Price at the time of publication: $491.08
Attribute
Best Lightweight
Best Multifunctional
Best Easy To Store
Product Name FYC Folding Treadmill Bowflex Tread Climber TC20 Sunny Health And Fitness Walking Treadmill SF-T7857
Speed Range 0.5 – 7.5 mph 0.5 – 4.5 mph 0.6 – 5 mph
Incline Range 0.5-5% 3 levels 3.5%
Weight Capacity 220lbs 300lbs 295lbs
Display LCD LCD Digital Monitor
Heart Rate Monitoring Yes Yes No
Amazon Reviews 101 40 761
Amazon Ratings 3.8 3.4 4.5
Buy Now Check Price Check Price Check Price

4. Best For Multimedia Support: Proform Performance 300i Treadmill

The Proform Performance 300i Treadmill is equipped with ProShox cushioning that protects your joints while running. It is preloaded with 16 workout programs and offers a one-year free membership of iFit that lets you access various workout programs and live sessions. You can switch between walking, jogging, and running with the single-touch button. It is joint-friendly, has shock absorption, and reduces stress on knees.

The machine also features a 10% quick incline control and a handgrip pulse EKG heart rate monitor. The commercial plus motor stays cool even during the toughest workouts and offers a comfortable experience. This treadmill is Bluetooth enabled with multimedia support for tablets and music players. The easy folding deck and space-saver design keep your house clutter-free.

Item Weight: ‎0.01 Ounces | Product Dimensions: ‎55"D x 29"W x 59"H | Color: ‎Multi-coloured

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 64.7 x 28.9 x 55 inches
  • Weight: 149 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 lbs
  • Belt Size: 50 x 16 inches
  • Music Port: Yes

Pros

  • EKG heart rate monitor
  • Preloaded workout programs
  • Quick incline control
  • Multimedia support
  • iFit membership
  • Space-saving design

Cons

  • Might be noisy

protip_icon Pro Tip
Do not stop suddenly on the treadmill as it can cause light-headedness because your heart rate and blood pressure drop rapidly. End your cool down only when your heart rate goes below 100bpm.

Price at the time of publication: $1247.45

5. Best User-Friendly: Lifespan Fitness TR3000i Treadmill

3.8
LifeSpan Fitness Treadmill Image: Lifespan Fitness

The Lifespan Fitness TR3000i Treadmill has eight compression shock absorbers with responsive cushioning for low-impact training. It is equipped with 21 certified exercise programs that are designed by exercise physiologists. The guided console navigation is user-friendly and keeps track of your exercises.

This treadmill offers 15 inclination levels and a speed range of 0.5 mph – 12 mph for intense and effective training. It also features a 3-speed cooling fan and patented step-counting abilities. The Intelli-Guard ensures your safety by stopping belt motion automatically within 20 seconds after you step away from the deck. The EZfold technology with hydraulic shock enables easy folding and unfolding.

Material: Alloy Steel, Plastic | Item Weight: 220.46 Pounds | Product Dimensions: 73"D x 34.5"W x 55.5"H | Color: Gray/Black

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 71 x 33 x 56 inches
  • Weight: 220.46 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 350 lbs
  • Belt Size: 56 x 20 inches
  • Music Port: Yes

Pros

  • 3- speed cooling fan
  • Easy to fold and unfold
  • Integrated with fitness apps
  • Patented step counting technology
  • User-friendly
  • Compression shock absorbers

Cons

  • Not sturdy
Price at the time of publication: $1499.0

6. Best Non-Slip Track: Real Relax 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill

4.1
Real Relax 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill Image: Real Relax

The Read Relax 2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill comes with an adjustable speed system that is remote-controlled. This flexible machine offers shock-absorbing effects to effectively absorb impact during running and protect your knees and ankles. It is installed with a 2.25HP noise-canceling motor and comes with an extra-wide, non-slip track surface. The machine is set on running wheels that help the users to move it around and store it easily. The LED screen helps you monitor your training. The high-quality Bluetooth player installed in it helps you to listen to good music while training. The wide walking belt and built-in speakers are extra add-ons that provide comfort and relaxation.

Material: ‎Alloy Steel | Product Dimensions: ‎52.7"D x 26.6"W x 40"H

Specifications

  • Dimensions:  52.7×26.6×40 inch(unfolded), 54.7×26.6×4.7 inch(folded)
  • Weight: 67.506 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 240 lbs
  • Belt Size: 42.5×17 inch.
  • Music Port: Yes

Pros

  • Noiseless operation
  • Inbuilt Bluetooth player
  • Lightweight
  • Non-slip track surface
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to store
  • Comes with an adjustable speed

Cons

  • Gets heated up after long-time use
Price at the time of publication: $359.99

7. Best Quiet Operation: Horizon Fit T202 Treadmill

2.3
Horizon Fitness T202 Treadmill Image: Horizon Fitness

The Horizon Fit T202 Treadmill maximizes at-home workouts with comfort and convenience. It is equipped with a perfect Flex Plus cushioning system for low-impact training. It offers 12-level inclinations with a speed range of 0.5 mph to 12 mph. This treadmill comes with a 31-day goal training feature and 12 customizable programming options.

The two 4-digit LED consoles, alphanumeric display, and LED brickyard workout profile save workout data and enable quick adjustments. This treadmill features a quiet motor along with Coolfit fitness fan, inbuilt iPod compatible speakers, and pulse and heart rate monitor. The FeatherLIGHT folding lift system with hydraulic shock enables easy set up and storage of this treadmill. The entertainment features, smart connectivity, fitness tracking, and data display make this a worthwhile purchase.

Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎70 x 33 x 58 inches | Item Weight: ‎196 Pounds

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 75 x 34 x 58 inches
  • Weight: 196 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 325 lbs
  • Belt Size: 55 x 20 inches
  • Music Port: Yes

Pros

  • User-friendly console
  • Easy to fold
  • Easy to store
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Quiet operation
  • Durable

Cons

  • Shakes while in use
  • Connectivity issues
Price at the time of publication: $1300.0

8. Best Easy To Assemble:UREVO Folding Treadmill

4.3

The UREVO Folding Treadmill is a compact and lightweight home fitness machine designed for people who want to stay active and fit without leaving their homes. It is equipped with a 3.0 peak HP motor that can provide speeds up to 7.6 mph. The treadmill has a huge multi-layer tread belt, and the tread deck provides enough leg and elbow space while running. The anti-slip belt acts as a protective cushion for your knees. The treadmill also features 12 pre-set programs that provide an unrivaled range of fitness options. The easy-to-read LCD display shows your time, distance, speed, calories burned and pulse and makes tracking the vitals easier. The new and updated product comes with pulse detection, adjustable display, phone holder, and pause function. The easy assembly of this motorized treadmill adds to the pros of choosing this product.

Material: Aluminum | Item Weight: 38.56 Kilograms | Product Dimensions: 28.7"D x 52.7"W x 5.5"H | Color: Black

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 52.7 x 28.7 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 265 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 300 Pounds
  • Deck Size: 16.5 x43.3 inches
  • Music Port: No

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to fold
  • Low power consumption

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $419.97

9. Best Speed Control Function:NordicTrack T 6.5 Si Treadmill

4.3
NordicTrack T 6.5 Si Treadmill Image: Nordictrack

The NordicTrack T 6.5 Si Treadmill is a compact machine that comfortably fits in most houses. The 10″ Smart HD touchscreen that is integrated into the console is one of its most notable features, since it can show you important workout metrics and allow you to access a variety of built-in workouts. The cushioning system on the T 6.5 Si can be adjusted to provide a softer or firmer surface, depending on your preferences. The model is compatible with iFit, which provides access to a library of on-demand workouts, personalized coaching, and real-time workout tracking. The treadmill can be easily folded up and stored when not in use, making it a convenient choice for those with limited space.

Material: Alloy Steel | Item Weight: 198 Pounds | Product Dimensions: 67.5"D x 36"W x 73"H | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎67.5 x 36 x 73 inches 73"H

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 67.5 x 36 x 73 inches
  • Weight: 198 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 300lbs
  • Deck Size: 20 x 50 inches
  • Music Port: Yes

Pros

  • Smart-response motor
  • One touch speed control
  • 10-inch interactive HD touchscreen
  • FlexSelect cushioning
  • iFIT membership

Cons

  • Not durable
Price at the time of publication: $970.5

10. Best Foldable Design: Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill

4

The Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill is a compact and easy to move equipment. This foldable treadmill has built-in transport wheels, is a space saver, and is easy to install. The folded dimension of this treadmill is 52 x 27 x 5 inches. When the riser is folded, this treadmill can be used for jogging at a speed of 0.6 MPH to 2.5 MPH whereas, when the handrail is raised, the running speed range is 0.6 MPH to 7.5 MPH.

This treadmill also has an LCD screen which displays time, speed, distance, and calories. It includes a phone holder and a bluetooth function for you to listen to music while you work out. The smart app control in this compact size treadmill is perfect to record all your workout data. It also comes with a powerful but ultra-quiet motor of 2.25 HP which allows you to work out without causing noise disruption. The sturdy and durable build of the steel frame is also shock-absorbing which gives you a safer and comfortable workout experience. The 5 layer non-slip textured belt allows you to run with safety and a secured feeling.

Frame Material: ‎Steel Frame | Material: ‎Steel, ABS | Item Weight: ‎69.5 Pounds | Product Dimensions: ‎52.5"D x 29"W x 44.5"H | Color: ‎Black

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 49 x 27 x 42 inches
  • Weight: 69.5 lbs
  • Maximum User Weight: 265 lbs
  • Belt Size: 40 x 16 inches
  • Music Port: Yes

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to store
  • Non-slip running belt
  • Multifunctional LCD display
  • Foldable design
  • Shock-absorbing material
  • Noise-reducing
  • Compact and space saver design
  • Portable
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • May have some motor issue
Price at the time of publication: $349.99

People who have bad knees tend to stay away from any physical activities, fearing it will worsen their condition. Treadmills not only provide an even surface to walk or jog but also absorb the shock to lower the impact on the knees. However, consider the following points while using a treadmill.

How To Protect Your Knees While Running On ATreadmill

  • Start your routine with 7-10 minutes of warm-up exercises.
  • Begin by setting the machine at the lowest speeds and inclinations. Start slow and progress gradually so that your body can adapt.

Note: Consult a physician if you feel any pain.

You should also consider the following points before choosing a treadmill.

How To Choose A Treadmill For Bad Knees

  • Running Surface Area: The running surface area should match your gait, width, and stride length. A narrow surface area will force you to alter your walking style, putting more stress on your knees.
  • Incline: The inclination shows the uphill and downhill movement and helps burn 40% more fat than flat trainers. However, check with your doctor to know how much inclination you can expose your knees to. Look at the degrees of inclination offered by the treadmill. It might be possible that even level-1 inclination is unsuitable for your knees.
  • Speed: The speed of a treadmill varies from 0.5 mph to 12 mph, deciding the intensity of your walking or running. Check the minimum speed count variation with each press. It must match your strides length and walking speed.
  • Deck Size: Check the footprint of the treadmill and how easily it can be stored. A small deck size also means that it is easily portable.
  • Cushioning: Cushioning absorbs most of the knee shocks. It ensures that knees and joints do not experience the impact of walking and running on a treadmill.
  • Control Panel: A user-friendly control panel offers easy adjustments, preset workout programs, fitness data, and multimedia support. The latest treadmills offer interactive touchscreen control panels for a better experience.
  • Ease Of Use: It is important that you understand the controls and adjustments of the machine thoroughly. Right from the assembly, and maintenance to regular usage, it should be easy to understand.
  • Weight Capacity: Most treadmills support users weighing up to 300-350 lbs. The machine should also withstand heavy load for a long duration.

Numerous people have taken advantage of treadmill training to improve their bad knees and alleviate pain. However, it is important to keep the following points in mind while using a treadmill if you have bad knees and joints.

Safety Tips For Using A Treadmill For Arthritis, Bad Knees, And Joints

  • Use good shoes as they absorb shock while running.
  • Learn the controls thoroughly, especially the fast-stop button.
  • Always hold on to the side rails.
  • Understand the safety key feature of the treadmill.
  • Ensure to stay centered in the running deck to avoid accidental falls.
  • Start the treadmill and then step on to the running deck to understand the speed.
  • Do not ignore any kind of strain during the training, as it can lead to inflammation.
  • Do low-impact activities without twisting your knees and hips.
  • Start steadily as overworking on treadmills can stress the anterior cruciate ligament, leading to further complications of the lower limbs.
  • Use the lowest incline angle as you begin and increase gradually.
  • Maintain good posture across the workout routine to avoid stress on joints.

Infographic: Important Tips On Treadmill Maintenance

Purchasing a new treadmill can be exciting and challenging at the same time. After all, it can help you maintain your daily fitness routine. Another thing that is equally challenging is keeping your new treadmill clean and running smoothly. If you are not aware of what it takes to maintain this fitness machine, fret not! Check out the infographic below for some tips.

Important Tips On Treadmill Maintenance (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

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Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

If you have bad knees due to osteoarthritis, you need proper exercises like walking to reduce pain and discomfort. Walking on treadmills can gradually decrease pain and help you achieve balance and stability. The treadmills made for bad knees are specially designed for low-impact exercises that do not strain your muscles and worsen your pain. The FYC Folding Treadmill offers a compact and practical solution for those who are looking for a budget-friendly option, the Lifespan Fitness TR3000i Treadmill features compression shock absorbers and fitness tracking capabilities, and the NordicTrack T 6.5 Si Treadmill has advanced technology with interactive features. These products are easy to fold, user-friendly, and durable. However, some products take time to assemble, and you may need a detailed guide to do so. So, check out the buying guide and safety tips before choosing one.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Aditi Naskar has a diploma in health and wellness. She is passionate about fitness and believes that physical activity is key to a long and healthy life. She has scoured countless customer reviews online to curate this list of the finest treadmills for bad knees. She considered factors like quality, features, and utility to shortlist the devices. These treadmills are designed to decrease your pain and protect your knees from further damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences in a normal treadmill belt and a multi-ply one?

A multi-ply treadmill belt lasts longer and provides better stability during running or walking than a normal treadmill belt.

Are there any foldable treadmills on this list?

All the listed products are foldable and enable easy storage.

Is running on the treadmills bad for the knees?

With proper precaution and knowledge, running on treadmills can improve your knees’ condition, making them stable and fit.

Is treadmill bad for knee problems?

Yes. Working out on a treadmill can impact your knees and put a lot of stress on your bones and joints. However, with proper precaution and assistance, treadmills can be excellent for gaining mobility and lower body strength.

What to look for in a treadmill if you have knee problems?

If you have knee problems, make sure that your treadmill is well-equipped with handrails at both sides and an emergency stop button. Also, ensure the treadmill deck is well-cushioned to lower the impact of your movement on your knees.

Is it bad for your knees to walk inclined on a treadmill?

No. In fact, walking on an inclined treadmill helps reduce stress on your joints. It is a good option to prevent injury and increase the intensity of your workout without adding extra pressure on your knees.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Peeler, Jason, and Jacquie Ripat. “The effect of low-load exercise on joint pain, function, and activities of daily living in patients with knee osteoarthritis.” The Knee vol. 251 (2018): 135-145.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29325839/
  2. Susko, Allyn M, and G Kelley Fitzgerald. “The pain-relieving qualities of exercise in knee osteoarthritis.” Open access rheumatology : research and reviews vol. 5 81-91.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074793/


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