When you think of a treadmill, more than likely you think of the motorized kind. Yet, you may find you can get a better workout with a manual treadmill.
A manual treadmill puts you in control. It does not plug in, you power it. It’s safe, easy to use, takes up less space and is generally less expensive than motorized versions.
Let’s dive right in and take a look at my top 10 picks for the best manual treadmill on the market.
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Quick Answer – The Best Manual Treadmills 2020
- EFITMENT T017 Manual Treadmill (Best Overall)
- ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill
- Assault Fitness AirRunner Manual Treadmill
- Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual Treadmill
- ASUNA Hi-Performance Manual Treadmill
- Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill
- Exerpeutic 100XL Manual Treadmill
- Fitness Reality TR3000 Manual Treadmill
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7723 Manual Treadmill
- Soozier Folding 2-In-1 Manual Treadmill
Reviews – Top 10 Best Manual Treadmills 2020
1. EFITMENT T017 Manual Treadmill (Best Overall)
- Features Upper Body Handles For A Total Body Workout
- 3-Way Incline Adjustment
- Folds For Easy Storage
- Good Informational Display
- Reasonably Priced
- Only Holds A Max User Weight Of 220lbs.
- Narrow Belt Makes Running Difficult
- No On-Board Storage For Water Bottle
The EFITMENT T017 is a unique choice for a manual treadmill.
It features adjustable tension handles that allow you to exercise your upper body while walking. These handles are easy to use and move with your natural arm swing.
It’s really two machines in one. Better still, it’s a complete total body machine. That means you will burn more calories as well as get a complete workout, making this a great choice for someone that isn’t doing any other type of exercise.
There are also heart rate sensors in the handrails, and it folds up for easy storage.
At 42” x 13.5” the belt isn’t the largest, and it cannot hold the most user weight with a max of 220lbs.
However, the upper body bars, the 3-way incline settings and the reasonable price make this the best overall manual treadmill.
2. ProGear 190 Manual Treadmill
- Two Incline Positions
- Features A Heart Rate Monitor
- 43” Belt
- Folds For Easy Storage
- No Adjustable Resistance
- Belt Too Small For Running
The ProGear 190 manual treadmill is a reasonably priced option that does not have adjustable resistance. It attempts to compensate by offering two incline options: 6 and 10 degrees.
The ProGear 190 manual treadmill can hold up to a 230 lb/ user. It features two oversized belt rollers for a smooth walking experience.
The running belt is 13 x 43, making it a good choice for walking. Due to the fact that running requires a larger stride, this is not the best choice for that purpose. Yet, it’s a good choice in a budget entry-level manual treadmill.
3. Assault Fitness AirRunner Manual Treadmill
- Ideal For Interval Style Training
- Holds Up To 350 lbs.
- Good Information Display
- Burns More Calories Than Motorized Treadmills
- May Take Time To Get Used To
The Assault Fitness AirRunner manual treadmill has many of the features you would expect to see on a motorized treadmill.
It’s light, making it easy to move and easy to fit in most spaces. It’s designed for running as well as walking. It’s especially good for interval style training.
Unlike some manual treadmills, there’s a console that includes distance, time, calories burned, and speed. There are also several heart-rate and interval programs.
The downside is that it is definitely expensive.
4. Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual Treadmill
- Easy To Store – Easy To Use
- Can Provide An Intense Workout
- Pre-set 12.5% Incline
- The Traction Belt Is Narrow
The Phoenix 98510 Easy-Up Manual Treadmill features a spring-loaded pull-pin that locks the unit in the upright position so you can roll it away for easy storage. When you’re ready to exercise, you just release the pin and you’re all set.
This treadmill is designed to provide an intense workout with a fixed 12.5% incline position. There’s a basic display that provides distance covered, speed, calories burned, time, and there’s a holder for your water bottle.
The Phoenix 98510 manual treadmill is designed to let you walk, jog, or run. Best of all, it’s very reasonably priced.
5. ASUNA Hi-Performance Manual Treadmill
- Inclines For Intense Workouts – Set It Flat For Walking Workouts
- Holds 440 lbs.
- Features Dual Flywheel Design
- A Little Pricy
- No Information Monitor
The ASUNA Hi-Performance Manual Treadmill is a great choice whether you’re looking for a low intensity or high intensity workout.
The ASUNA has a large 49” L x 19” W workout area, one of the biggest of the manual treadmills on this list.
It has incline positions ranging from 6-10 degrees, so a running based workout will be challenging. It also features 8 resistance levels.
This treadmill is designed to be safe. To that end, it can hold a max weight of 440 pounds—more than many of the treadmills we reviewed.
For further safety, the handlebars are sweat- and slip-resistant. This means you can do HIIT workouts, running, or even backward jogging.
You can also do side squats, mountain climbers, and walking workouts with no chance of losing your grip.
For these types of hardcore workouts, the ASUNA manual treadmill is the best choice.
6. Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill
- Quiet, Slim & Easy To Store
- Adjustable Incline Levels
- On Board Informational Display
- Only Holds Up To 200 lbs
If you’re looking for a basic, inexpensive manual treadmill, the Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill is a good choice.
It’s reasonably-priced, easy to set up and easy to use. There are several traditional features you’d expect to see on a treadmill, such as an LED display. This display shows speed, time, distance, and calories burned.
The Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill has a fixed 5% incline. You can also select from 8 adjustable incline levels to help you personalize your workout experience.
Many individuals find this manual treadmill a good choice for walking workouts. You may find that it’s a little more challenging for running workouts.
This treadmill is slim, quiet, light, and easy to move.
The downside is that it can only handle a max user weight of 200 lbs., potentially limiting its use. Still, the Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill is another good choice for an entry level, budget-friendly machine.
7. Exerpeutic 100XL Manual Treadmill
- Holds Up To 325lbs. Max Weight
- Features Magnetic Resistance
- Extra Long Handrails
- No Water Bottle Holder
- May Be Hard To Put Together
The Exerpeutic 100XL manual treadmill utilizes magnetic resistance to help maintain consistent speed.
It’s a sturdy machine that can hold up to 325 lbs., not the most weight among the manual treadmills we reviewed but it is still one of the highest.
The Exerpeutic 100XL manual treadmill has extra-long handrails with built-in heart monitors. It features 3 levels of incline and 8 levels of magnetic tension.
There’s also a computer LCD display that provides time, distance, calories burned, speed and heart rate monitoring. There’s even a spot for your TV remote control! The workout area is 45” L x 16” W, not the largest but still plenty of room for walking or running workouts.
8. Fitness Reality TR3000 Manual Treadmill
- Dual Flywheels Provide A Smooth Ride
- Longer, Wider Belt Is Perfect For Running
- Can Hold A Max Weight Of 325lbs.
- Reasonably Priced
- The Handrails Do Not Fold
- Some Users May Find The TR3000 Noisy
The Fitness Reality TR3000 Manual Treadmill is packed with features at an affordable price.
The TR3000 folds for easy storage, it’s well built with a max user weight of 325 lbs.
It also has a large workout area (45” L x 16” W), making it ideal for running workouts.
It has three incline levels as well as dual flywheels with a ‘pacer control’, which provides the user with 8 levels of magnetic resistance.
The control is located on the central console along with an information display that provides time, distance, and speed. Heart rate is monitored by the handrail sensors.
These impressive features at a reasonable price make the Fitness Reality TR3000 the best choice in a budget manual treadmill.
9. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7723 Manual Treadmill
- 16 Levels Of Resistance
- Multi Grip Handlebars Make It Ideal For Pushing Against The Tread
- 300lb. Max User Weight
- Large 59Lx 16W Belt Area
- No On-Board Informational Display
- The Fixed Incline May Be Too Intense For Some Users
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7723 Manual Treadmill is a well-built treadmill that can handle up to 300lbs. max user weight.
It features dual flywheels for a smooth ride. It also comes with a fixed 13.5% incline and 16 levels of magnetic resistance so you can experience a complete cardio workout.
It features multi-grip handle bars that allow you the option of pushing against the tread. You can also use the grip of your choice for walking or running.
Perhaps the best feature is the large 59L x 16W workout area which allows plenty of room for running workouts.
The downside is that there is no informational display on this unit.
10. Soozier Folding 2-In-1 Manual Treadmill
- Features Exclusive Sit-Up Pads For Core Training
- Ideal For Walking Workouts
- Folds For Easy Storage
- Height Adjustable Handrails
- Cannot Hold As Much User Weight As Many Of The Other Manual Treadmills
- Small Training Area Limits Running/Jogging Workouts
The Soozier Folding 2-In-1 Manual Walking Incline Treadmill is a unique take on a manual treadmill when compared to the rest of the choices on this list.
It’s really two machines in one, a manual treadmill and a sit-up station.
It features 2 incline positions (15 and 20 degrees), and a height adjustable handrail that accommodates users of all sizes. The hand rail has 3 adjustments and can adjust from 42 ¼” to 49 ¼”. This is an exclusive feature not found on the other manual treadmills on this list.
The belt size is only 36 x13, making it more suited to walking than running. The unit folds for easy storage and can hold up to 240lbs. The unit also has an easy to read information display that provides time, speed, calories burned, and distance.
The Soozier Folding 2-In-1 is not the best manual treadmill in key areas such as belt size or max weight, yet the exclusiveness combined with a reasonable price makes it one of the best manual treadmills on the market.
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Manual Treadmill?
First, so there’s no confusion, a manual treadmill is a non-motorized treadmill powered by your movement on the belt, whether you’re walking, jogging or running.
This differs from the typical electric treadmill that’s powered by a motor. Unlike a motorized treadmill, there’s nothing to plug in and nothing to turn on. You just get on and go.
The manual treadmill is safer to use because it stops when you stop.
They are typically smaller and less expensive than their motorized counterparts. One thing to keep in mind is that you may find it hard to get going, after all, there’s no motor moving the belt for you.
OK, with that basic definition out of the way, here are the primary factors you should consider when choosing your manual treadmill:
Design & Stability
The main thing to remember is that most manual treadmills are designed for average users.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find an expensive gym-level model, but for the average user, they are meant to be compact to save space.
This means they fold for easy storage and are designed for smaller spaces like your living room, spare room or corner area.
Despite the compact design, look for one that features a metal frame for stability.
The last thing you want is a shaky, unstable feeling while working out.
Some manual treadmills offer none (like the ProGear 190) while others provide up to 16 levels of tension.
The main factor here is to choose a treadmill you can grow with. That means if you are new to exercise, pick a basic one with a few levels of resistance. You will find that as you become more fit, you’ll need more resistance and your treadmill can provide that.
There are some choices for more advanced trainers, such as the ASUNA Hi-Performance, which is designed for serious cardio-based workouts. This machine is meant for advanced trainers only and should not be used by a beginner.
You may be wondering what magnetic resistance is after seeing it featured on many of the manual treadmills in this review. Here’s how it works:
Quite a few manual treadmills use a dual flywheel design. These flywheels are attached to the frame using brackets. There’s an adjustment that moves the brackets farther or closer to a magnet. The distance from the brackets to the magnet increases or decreases the resistance.
The combination of incline and resistance creates the level of intensity.
Some machines are preset at a slight incline, so make sure you can handle it before you buy one. While a slight incline is meant to provide a good workout, you want a machine that fits your current fitness level as well as your goals.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been exercising for a long time, make sure you have the option to adjust the incline accordingly.
Sometimes referred to as workout space, an important point is that the belt size on many manual treadmills is not that big.
This is especially true when compared to many motorized treadmills. This is due to the compact nature of the design.
If walking is your primary goal, that’s not a problem.
If you want more space to move, you’ll have to pay a little more for one with a larger workout area.
Not every manual treadmill offers an informational display, such as the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7723. The typical information of time, distance, speed and calories burned is useful for all but advanced trainers.
If you’re looking to get into shape, choose one that gives you information that can help, such as the Fitness Reality TR3000.
One thing that many manual treadmills do not have is a space for such things as water bottles or cell phones. This may be a little annoying but with some thought you can place items like this near enough to reach.
To Wrap Up
The bottom line is that even though most people may think of a motorized machine when it comes to a treadmill, manual treadmills are a compact and reasonably priced option.
Most manual treadmills fold up and are easy to transport and store. They save space and are safer to use. While they may take some getting used to if you’re used to a motorized unit, you can get a great workout on a manual treadmill.
There are options for beginners, such as the Fitness Reality TR3000, our best manual treadmill in a budget entry level machine. It features a large workout space, can hold a max user weight of 325lbs, offers 8 levels of resistance, and has a good informational display.
There are also options for advanced trainers, such as the ASUNA Hi-Performance. It is a no-nonsense machine that’s all about the workout. You can imitate mountain climbing, perform side squats, run, jog or walk. You can even jog backwards. This is a serious machine that is a no-brainer for our best manual treadmill in an advanced machine.
For the ultimate in cardio training, and for an imaginative machine that is our pick for the best manual treadmill overall, the EFITMENT T017 is our choice.
This is because it’s not just a treadmill, it’s a total body machine thanks to it’s upper body handles. Why does this matter?
By working your entire body, you burn more calories and can perform a complete workout. You can’t do that as easily with the typical manual (or motorized) treadmill. The handles are optional, you can choose not to use them. This gives you the best of both worlds.
So, whether you’re looking to get in shape or stay in shape, make the jump to a manual treadmill. Choose the best manual treadmill for your needs. You’ll be glad you did!