Best Under Desk Treadmill: Mini Treadmill 2021 | The Strategist

Best Under Desk Treadmill: Mini Treadmill 2021 | The Strategist

Photo: retailer

In doing more research on treadmills with small footprints, I started to zero in on brands that specifically made models for people, like me, who have no dedicated space in a living room or study for any exercise gear — who, instead, need to easily stow it between uses. There were three that stood out in this regard, including the WalkingPad R1 Pro, Treadly 2 Pro, and LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill. I reached out to all three brands about testing their models, and WalkingPad and Treadly each sent me one to try.

And try I did: I walked on each treadmill for a minimum of four hours a day for an entire work week at my DIY standing desk. (In order to really get to know the treadmills, I sometimes walked more than that — occasionally, I even ran.) And while there are some important differences between the models that may make them appealing to different buyers, the most important thing about both treadmills is their size: Neither one took up much more real estate than a yoga mat. And, crucially, both can be stored quite easily (though, perhaps, one more easily than the other). Both have classic treadmill features — displays for miles per hour and distance — as well as the particularly handy ability to automatically speed up or slow down depending on where your feet are located on the belt. They’re also both quiet — far quieter, for example, than my air conditioner. Neither made more noise than a laptop fan.

As for their differences … below, I break down my experience with each model based on five criteria: what it was like to walk on while working, how easy it is to store, the belt feel, the bells and whistles (like compatible apps), and the fine print (warrantees, trial periods) that comes with each purchase.



The best tiny treadmill if space is your top priority

WalkingPad R1 Pro Treadmill

$749

Photo: retailer

$749


at WalkingPad

Buy

$799


at Amazon

Buy


The WalkingPad R1 Pro in situ.
Photo: Brittany Brown

Both the WalkingPad R1 Pro and the Treadly treadmill have adjustable handrails, and I bring this up here because those handrails are related to each treadmill’s maximum speed. The WalkingPad’s speed controls are on the handrail itself; it can go up to 6.5 mph when the handrail is up, but the company advises users to walk no faster than 3.5 mph when the handrail is down. Raising and lowering the handrail is a minor process — you have to turn knobs and lock it in place — but it doesn’t take long. Also, in order to start using the WalkingPad, you have to extend the handrail and unfold the treadmill (it arrives folded in half, more on that below). This takes a bit of force, and you’ll hear a noise that sounds like tearing Velcro — but that’s normal, and the more you use the treadmill, the less the noise will occur. For those wondering, the fastest I went on this was five mph (I’m not much of a runner), and it felt good and sturdy, with enough room for me to jog without feeling like I was going to fall.

WalkingPad A1 Folding Treadmill

$599

$599

If you’re just going to walk, WalkingPad makes this less expensive folding treadmill (that I did not test) with a max speed of just under 4 mph.

$599


at Amazon

Buy

$550


at WalkingPad

Buy




The best tiny treadmill if performance is your top priority

Treadly 2 Pro Treadmill

$949

$949


at Treadly

Buy


The Treadly 2 Pro in situ.
Photo: Brittany Brown

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