Want to look like a casting member of Baywatch? Then you’ve probably considered buying a treadmill and running like a maniac in your house or apartment. It’s the simplest way to lose fat after all.
The problem is that treadmills are some of the loudest cardio equipment available. The only other machine that comes near it in terms of noise levels is the rowing machine.
So if you have thin walls, small kids or easily triggered neighbors breathing down your throat, running on a treadmill will stress you out just thinking about whether it’s annoying them or not.
So you should definitely purchase a treadmill that is quieter than those typically used in commercial gyms.
Things to look for in a quiet treadmill
1. Incline option
The easiest way to run or walk more quietly on a treadmill is by setting it on an incline. It doesn’t have to be a huge incline either. But as long as you’re slightly climbing rather than directly stomping on a flat surface, you’ll create less noise.
So make sure that the treadmill you’re buying has the incline option. All the quiet treadmills that I recommended below have it.
2. Stable base
The running base needs to be stable. Some treadmills wobble a bit because the base is not heavy enough. If you have a small leg length discrepancy like myself, it can produce way more noise than it should.
Speaking of which, if you aren’t able to run perfectly for some reason like a bad hip, one leg being shorter than the other, running on an incline is again the best way to quiet the noise and drastically reduce the wobbling.
A lot of the noise is made from the contact between the treadmill and the floor. Running causes vibrations which can be significant on lighter treadmills. This transmits to a hard floor surface and can get pretty loud. To lower vibration noise, it’s beneficial if the treadmill has a bottom coated with anti-vibration and anti-slip rubber padding.
This is not as crucial as the previous two factors because you can place a rubber mat beneath the treadmill easily. It’s just one of those nice additions that if you had to choose between two similar treadmills should be the reason to choose one over the other.
You can read 9 more tips for reducing treadmill noise in this article.
Things to look for when buying ANY treadmill
A treadmill is an amazing piece of training equipment, and the newer ones have many cool options that make grueling torture sessions more fun than ever.
Measuring your heart rate, various workout programs that attack stubborn fat from all sides, manual configurations, timer, USB, bluetooth and additional app options, music players etc.
But there are some basic and yet very important features that many people don’t consider when buying a treadmill. But they can be very crucial for making the right choice:
1. Make sure it’s not too big
Before buying a treadmill, definitely measure the available space in your home where you plan on placing it.
You don’t want to buy a huge treadmill only to find out that your living room is too small for it. Breaking through a wall in order to fit a treadmill in the apartment is not my idea of a good time.
So make sure you got this piece of information firmly in your mind. There are excellent smaller treadmills that are quiet, have many useful features and are easy to store away when you’re not running. There are also folding treadmills available that are easier to store.
But if you have a lot of space, I’d always go with a bigger treadmill simply because I enjoy the increased running space it provides and larger display screen.
2. Check for running features
Almost every manufacturer points out the cool features of their product. Since running or walking on a treadmill can become boring unless you’re watching your favorite TV show at the same time, it’s good to have various difficulty settings and cardio modes to play around with.
Most modern treadmills have at least 30 workout programs such as variations of a HIIT program (high intensity interval training), fat burning program, gradual conditioning building programs etc.
Not only are these options great for breaking the monotony of running in place, they can also be incredibly useful for improving cardiovascular performance, shedding off weight and improving athletic performance.
This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to pay close attention to these additional features. I know many treadmill users who just set up the running difficulty through the manual option (level up, level down), perform a simple workout and they’re done. They have no interest in any special workout programs. In fact, they prefer the simple display and setup rather than endless, sometimes confusing options.
That’s usually the case with older users that I used to work with as a personal trainer. If you fit that description to some degree, I completely understand. And I’ve listed a few quiet treadmills that are simple and straight to the point.
Since there is a large variety of treadmills, the prices are also very diverse. You could spend anywhere between $100 and $3000 for a treadmill.
In this article, I’ve searched for quiet treadmills in the $200-$1000 price range because there are great treadmills for apartments and houses that fall in this category. The more expensive ones are typically purchased by large commercial gyms which have a lot of clients and therefore require a real beastly treadmill.
The main features that can have an influence on the price of a treadmill are: size, motor power, control features, material (impacts quality and durability), brand (reputation of the treadmill manufacturer), year of production.
Some older treadmills are more affordable than the ones manufactured in 2017-2018 and they’re still awesome and have all the top features you’d expect from a newer model. So I’ve tried to strike a balance between these important variations.
Without further ado, here’s the list!
5 best quiet treadmills:
1. HARISON Super Quiet, 2.9 CHP Electric Folding Treadmill – My #1 Recommendation
This treadmill is no exception. It has an awesome LCD display system, incline option of up to 15%, and it’s got a simple folding system to save space!
But what about the noise? Is it really SUPER QUIET like the manufacturer claims? Well, it’s certainly on the quiet end. It has a modern shock absorption system, plus it has rubber padding on each side of the treadmill deck.
I also like the display on this model. The 7 inch LCD monitor features speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate, incline, and there are custom workout programs available as well.
The manual option is available as a default, so you can simply switch to a level of difficulty you’re interested in. Or you can open a more advanced menu with different options.
For more tech inclined users and music lovers, there’s also a USB port, iPad holder and headphone jack.
Here are some more technical details:
- Guarantee: 1 year for the whole smart folding running treadmill, 8 year Frame, 20 years parts
- Product weight: 187 Lbs
- User Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
- Dimensions: 70 x 31 x 54 inches
- Folded Size: 58 x 31 x 45 inches.
See it in action:
Personally, if I was buying a treadmill for my apartment right now, I would get this Harison treadmill. But of course, for you it can also depend on the space and budget at your disposal. I consider this a more high-end treadmill as it’s in the $800-$900 range, but it’s worth the buck.
You can check out the current price and customer reviews on Amazon by clicking here.
2. Goplus Folding Electric Treadmill – Best Affordable Quiet Option
- 2.25 HP Impulse Max Motor & Weight Capacity: 2.25 horsepower quite impulse motor is powerful enough for interval, speed, or endurance training.
- Weight capacity is 220 lbs
- Foldable & Adjustable Incline Design – Easy folding mechanism and a soft drop system to help you fold and unfold your treadmill safely and with ease. 3 levels incline change design help you burn more calories, tone more muscle, and build greater endurance.
- 0.5-7.5 MPH Speed levels & 12 Different Workout Programs
- 5 inch Blue-Ray LCD Display
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Ipad/mobile phone holder
- Safety Key and emergency stop button on the handrail for double safety.
- Cushioning design on both side of treadmill reduces noise and vibrations on the floor
Here are more technical details such as size and weight:
Runway Size: 16.5″ X 50″(WxL)
Overall Size: 63” X 28.7” X 52.7”(L X W X H)
Folded Size: 42″ X 28.7″ X 52.7″(L X W X H)
Weight: 132 Lbs
Wanna see how it looks in a home environment? Check out this mini video review from a user on Youtube.
So if you’re looking for a more affordable quiet treadmill, this is a great lower budget alternative and it’s been getting excellent reviews from users.
To see the current price and reviews for this quiet treadmill on Amazon, click here.
3. Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill – Cheapest Quiet Treadmill (Under $200)
Are you one of THOSE PEOPLE who are not interested in advanced workout programs, LCD displays, Bluetooth connectivity or any of that? You just want a simple running track and manually adjustable difficulty?
AND at the same time you don’t want to break your piggy bank to buy a treadmill? Then you’ll love this treadmill. Just look at that product photo. It can’t get any more minimalistic than that. This is a small treadmill that is very easy to fit in a small apartment.
Here are the features:
- Quiet magnetic resistance with 8 adjustable workout levels.
- Fixed gentle incline.
- Multi-function computer including speed, distance, calories, odometer, time and scan functions.
- Easily transported and stored – simple locking pin mechanism with built in wheels for ease of movement
- Suitable for users up to 220lbs
- 12 month warranty.
- Product footprint : 19.1″ x 47.2″
- Size when folded: 48″ (h) x 7.9″ (d).
- Box dimensions : 52.1″ x 24.4″ x 9.3″
- Weight : 46.9lbs
I’m usually skeptical about lightweight treadmills because they sometimes wobble when you run at higher speed. But according to user reviews this is not the case. It’s getting mostly 5 or 4 star reviews from customers on Amazon, and generally people like it because it’s easy to set up and it’s really quiet.
If you’re looking for a cheap treadmill, it should be cheap because it’s got less advanced features rather than due to low quality. This treadmill was not created to compete with Harison or Goplus. It was designed to provide a minimalistic solution for small apartments and people who are not interested in technological quirks of more expensive machines.
Click here to see the price and more info on this quiet treadmill on Amazon.
4. Merax Quiet Folding Treadmill – Quiet Affordable Treadmill
- in the $200 price range
- easy to fold, can be rolled under the bed easily
- convenient transportation wheels
- quiet 500 watts power motor allows for 0.62 to 7.5 MPH speed range
- thick 4 layer running belt for quieter operation
- LCD Display shows speed, time, distance, burned calories and 3 built-in workout programs
- 14.2” x 43” running surface
- Assembled Size: Approx. 54.7 x 25.2 x 42.3 inches (L x W x H)
- Folded Size: Approx. 54.7 x 25.2 x 9.8 inches (L x W x H)
- Running surface measures: 14.2 x 43 inches
- Product weight: Approx. 75 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
This is a neat low budget treadmill. Some users have also commented that it’s really quiet when running, and that’s certainly reassuring coming from actual people who’ve purchased the product.
Click here to see the price and customer reviews for this quiet treadmill on Amazon.
5. LifeSpan TR3000i Folding Treadmill
I’ve had a few more treadmills I wanted to mention, but I’ve decided to keep the list at my top 5 recommendations. This last entry is a more advanced treadmill for athletes and intermediate-to-advanced fitness enthusiasts.
Why is that? Well mainly because it has 21 trainer programs that can challenge you progressively and raise your conditioning and lung capacity if you follow them consistently.
It also has a high capacity 2.75 HP motor that runs quietly and smoothly, plus a large running/walking belt surface.
Speed range is 0.5 to 12 MPH, so it’s maximum speed is higher than all the previous models, except for Harison (my #1 recommendation) which is more expensive.
Other important features:
- foldable and easy to store
- quiet motor performance
- 3-speed cooling fan
- 8 compression shock absorbers for quietness, safety and better knee & back comfort while running
- track time, speed, distance, heart rate, burnt calories and more through the LCD Display
- connectable to Iphone and Android apps to track progress and performance
- USB port, bluetooth connectivity, can charge mobile phone through the USB port
- Unfolded Dimensions: 71″ L x 33″ W x 56″ H
- Folded Dimensions: 42″ L x 33″ W x 60″ H
- Running Track size: 56″ L x 20″ W
One thing that stands out in the customer reviews is the “amazing customer support”. A few users said that after using the treadmill for a long time this-or-that part stopped working. They called the customer service and they repaired it quickly, no questions asked.
That’s definitely reassuring, considering also the very long warranty, with lifetime support for frame and motor, 5 years on equipment parts and 1 year on labor.
So if you’re looking for a medium-priced treadmill that has all the top modern features of a next-gen model, PLUS it’s quiet, this is a great little treadmill. Or go with the Harison model, but it’s almost 3 times as expensive, so this is a more convenient option if you’re on a limited budget.
To see the current price and customer reviews on Amazon, click here.
Other Quiet Cardio Equipment
Treadmills along with rowing machines are quiet loud. So if you have thin walls and intolerant neighbors it might not be the best option for you.
But you still want to get a great workout in and blast the fat cells to reveal the glowing six packs hidden somewhere deep inside, right? Joking aside, here are some other pieces of cardio equipment you can use as an alternative or in combination with a treadmill.
1. Stationary bicycle
This is one of the quietest cardio machines ever. Bicycles don’t produce any vibrations and the cycling motion is also pretty quiet. They’re a great option for smaller apartments because they’re usually smaller than treadmills.
The downside of stationary bicycles is that they’re not as effective for weight loss as treadmills. You’re basically sitting and just using leg muscles and a bit of abs. When you run, your whole body is engaged in the movement so it burns more calories and is more effective.
I also prefer running on a treadmill because it’s more fun. But like I said, if quietness is your number one priority, a stationary bike is a good alternative.
If you’re a laptop junkie like myself, you’ll definitely appreciate the convenience of this addition. Check out this bike on Amazon for current price and user reviews.
2. Punching bag
Another excellent (and fun) way to burn calories is to punch a boxing or kickboxing bag. It’s a real stress reliever, plus you learn some valuable fighting skills through the process.
Bag punching and kicking is great for burning fat for one reason; it’s an interval workout. So what do I mean by that? Well, you’re punching for 10-15 seconds. Than you take a 10-15 seconds break. Then you do one more round and repeat as long as you can.
This way your lungs can last longer and you get to do a harder workout than you would if you depended solely on your lung capacity. Sure, you can do the same thing with a treadmill or a bike. I’m just saying, it’s one more option on the table.
It’s also a bit quieter than running, but not necessarily. It depends on how hard you punch and how heavy the bag is. Heavier bags will be quieter and won’t move as easily. And lighter gloves will not make less sound. So heavy bag and light gloves is the best combination for quiet workouts.
Another good thing about this option is that you don’t need too much space for a bag. Place it in a corner and punch away! I recommend this heavy bag + gloves + hand wraps package from Everlast if you’re interested in becoming a fighter from the comfort of your home.
Kettlebells are mostly used for explosive and swinging exercise movements. These movements can get your heart rate up pretty fast and shed weight like crazy.
They’re also completely silent unless you accidentally drop it on the ground. In that case you’ll have more problems than the noise, especially if your toe gets in the way. And another sound could be the loud mouth breathing from the exhaustion of course.
So kettlebells are quiet, fairly affordable, take up very little space, and can be used to increase muscle mass, explosiveness, cardiovascular capacity and burn fat. Are there any downsides?
Well, yes. Some people don’t like training with them. They’re a Russian invention and a bit different from standard fitness equipment that people are used to. They also require explosive movements to be effective. If you’ve had knee, back or shoulder injuries, or you’re not in great shape to begin with, training with a kettlebell can be risky.
Another downside is that it’s easy to get used to a certain weight. So then you need to buy a heavier kettlebell to get a good workout in and progress. But if you want to put in a powerful workout with ZERO sound, other than close-to-heart-attack panting of course, kettlebells are a solid option.
This is the most popular solid cast iron kettlebell . It’s perfectly legit, and I use similar ones in my gym. There are various weights available.
My recommendation for people with average strength is to get a 35 lbs kettlebell, or buy a couple of them with different weight, both for warm up and for gradual progression during workout and over time as you become stronger.
Working out at home is a great way to avoid traveling to a gym and dealing with (often annoying) gym environment. And so many of us go to the gym just because of the treadmill in the first place.
By having a quiet treadmill at home, you can hop on, do a quick workout while watching TV or listening to music (that YOU want to listen to) and be ready for other activities in no time.
So the advantages are more than obvious. But you’re here because you’re aware that the noise can be problematic. Well, if you follow the recommendations I provided in this article, you will definitely minimize the noise to a point where it won’t disturb the people on the other side of the wall.
Also, you can always use the information from my other articles to soundproof a wall/floor/ceiling/door/window and further reduce the noise if necessary. Hope this helps!