If you’re on the lookout for the best under-desk treadmills to kit out your home or office space, we’re here to help. As the name suggests, under-desk treadmills slip under the best standing desks and take a more subtle approach to your average gym treadmill.
Unsure what the difference is? Known as walking treadmills, these compact versions have a lower max speed and fewer incline settings but a smaller footprint, making them perfect for walking while you work. They’re also much cheaper and some models fold in half, stowing neatly away without squeezing space from your home gym.
Even better, according to PLOS One, treadmill workstations improve physical activity and work performance, increase overall daily activity calorie burn, and help you clock up those all-important steps. So if you’re curious about how to lose weight and get in shape by walking, this could be your chance.
We hit download on the best workout apps and got to work testing some of the best under-desk treadmills, rating them against performance, value for money, and features. If you’re a keen runner, check out our best treadmills guide instead, or read on for the pros and cons of each of these walking options.
What are the best under-desk treadmills?
After testing several models, the best under-desk treadmill is the Sunny Health and Fitness Asuna Treadpad. Not only does it arrive pre-assembled, but during testing, we found it to be one of the quietest walking treadmills on the market, which is important if you’re planning on walking without your colleagues noticing. It’s also the best value walking treadmill on test.
The GoPlus 1HP Walking Treadmill has a number of built-in programs, making it a good choice if you really want to get more of a workout as you, well, work. The downside here is that it is pretty loud, so probably wouldn’t be the best choice if you’re working in a shared space, or planning on walking at unsociable hours with young children in the house.
Finally, the WalkingPad P1 doesn’t have a screen for you to see how far you’ve walked, but it is $200 cheaper than the WalkingPad A1 Pro, which we’ve also reviewed. We found it to be pretty quiet, and the ability to fold it away under the couch when you’re not using it came in handy.
Read on for the rest of our picks for the best under-desk treadmills.
The best under-desk treadmills you can buy today
During testing, we were impressed with how quiet the Sunny Health and Fitness Asuna Treadpad was to walk on during working hours. At $499, this is also one of the least expensive under-desk treadmills on this list as well, making it our best value walking treadmill.
The Treadpad arrived fully assembled, so was ready to go in minutes, and has a top speed of four miles per hour, which is a walking pace of about a 15-minute mile. This should be fast enough for most people, but like all walking treadmills, it won’t be fast enough for most to jog on.
The digital display console shows speed, time, distance, calories burned, and steps taken. It’s straightforward to read, and easy to simply look down and see where you’re at. It also has a safety cord that you can easily kick to stop the treadmill if you have any issues.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Asuna Treadpad is operated using a remote control, which is easy to use — although you’ll need to press fairly hard to change the speed of the treadmill. Unlike other treadmills on this list, you can’t use the treadmill without the remote, so be sure to stow it away from anyone who might find it a fun toy! All in all, it’s a brilliant, comfortable walking treadmill that should suit most users.
Read our full Sunny Health and Fitness Asuna Treadpad review.
If you have the budget for it, the Lifespan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill is one of the best on the market. At double the price of most of the other treadmills on this list, it doesn’t come cheap, and while it’s a great piece of equipment, we’d argue you’re better off spending your money on one of the best treadmills that give you some more versatility in your workouts.
That said, as an under-desk treadmill, the Lifespan is fantastic. It has a higher weight limit of 350 pounds, a top speed of four miles per hour, and has wheels that allow you to move the treadmill when you’re not using it. It also has a large console with big buttons that make changing the speed as you work easier. The console also acts as the treadmill’s screen, displaying all the stats you need, such as distance, steps taken, and calories burned.
The major selling point here is how quiet the treadmill is — the treadmill has six impact-absorbing zones on the belt to minimize sound as you walk. During testing, we found this was definitely one of the quietest. We also liked the Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to upload your walks onto the LifeSpan Active Track fitness app, helping you to get a better idea of your progress at the end of the working day.
If you can afford it, this is a brilliant under-desk treadmill, with a quiet belt, and a heavier maximum weight allowance.
Read our full LifeSpan Under Desk Treadmill TR1200-DT3 GlowUp review here.
The GoPlus 1HP Walking Treadmill is great for anyone looking to push themselves a little harder when walking, as there are 12 built-in programs. These programs automatically change the speed of the treadmill as you walk over 30 minutes, pushing you to pick up the pace as you work.
The GoPlus 1HP Walking Treadmill also comes ready assembled, and located at the front of the treadmill is an easy-to-read LED touchscreen that displays time, speed, distance, and calories burned when using the tread. This LED touchscreen also allows you to operate the treadmill if you don’t have the remote control to hand.
The downside here is that both the treadmill and the belt are pretty noisy, making this one unsuitable for use in a shared working environment. We found during testing that the belt was one of the loudest, and that the treadmill emitted a loud beep every time it turned on, or changed speed (we couldn’t find a way to turn this beep down). If you’re working alone, this might not bother you too much, but if you’re planning on walking in an apartment block, or while other people are sleeping, you might want to look at some of the other options on this list.
Read our full GoPlus 1HP Walking Treadmill review.
If you’re looking for an affordable walking treadmill to add to your home office, the Bluefin Fitness Task 2.0 Treadmill might just tick the right boxes. It’s affordable, super-easy to install, and has a handy handlebar to make running on the treadmill feel a little safer than most under-desk treadmills. With a top speed of five miles per hour, you won’t be able to train for a marathon on this treadmill, but you could do a light jog between meetings.
During testing, we found the treadmill was pretty simple to use — there’s an LCD screen at the top of the treadmill that shows you your pace, calories, distance walked, and time, plus you can connect the treadmill to your phone via Bluetooth and the Kinomap app. The treadmill can be controlled by its remote, which comes on a wristband that you can wear as you walk, or by the phone app. There are also six pre-set programs you can choose to follow, but we found these a little confusing, and all very similar.
The downside with this treadmill is the smaller belt, which might not be suitable for taller users. Our tester was 5 foot 2 and found, that when she wasn’t concentrating on walking, she tripped on the side panels once or twice, so taller users might need to look elsewhere.
WalkingPad under-desk treadmills have a nifty design that makes stowing the treadmills when you’re not using them a breeze — they can be folded in half. This is a great feature if you’re short on space in your home office, or if you’re living with small children or pets, and need to keep the treadmill out of sight when it’s not being used.
The WalkingPad A1 Pro is fast to set up, has an easy-to-use remote control, and a screen on the front of the treadmill that displays your distance walked, time, and speed. The treadmill also has two different modes — manual and automatic. When the treadmill is in manual mode, you can change the speed of the treadmill using the remote, or the KS Fit app on your phone. In automatic mode, the belt speeds up or slows down depending on where you position yourself. Walk closer to the front, it speeds up; walk closer to the back, it slows down.
The WalkingPad A1 Pro is fairly quiet. During testing, we found the sound of the plastic end of our shoelaces smacking the belt during a walk was louder than the belt and motor in operation. While we’d still recommend headphones if you plan to walk while you’re on a call, the walking pad won’t disturb people in other rooms of the house.
Overall, this is a great option, although during testing we did find that the KS Fit app was a little glitchy, which was irritating. If you’re not all that bothered about recording your work walks, however, don’t let this put you off.
Read our full WalkingPad A1 Pro review.
The WalkingPad P1 is $200 cheaper than the WalkingPad A1 Pro, but is similar in design. The main difference between the two is that the WalkingPad P1 doesn’t have a screen to show you your pace, distance, and time on the treadmill itself. The motor of the WalkingPad P1 is also a bit less powerful and a bit louder. But the price difference is enough to make it worth considering.
Like the WalkingPad A1 Pro, the WalkingPad P1 can be folded in half and stowed under a couch when you’re not using it. Like a lot of sizable electronics, the WalkingPad P1 comes with a fairly short power cord (six feet), so you’ll want to find a spot for it that’s close to an electrical outlet.
There are three major differences between the WalkingPad P1 and the A1Pro. First, the less expensive P1 doesn’t come with a display. To make up for this, the remote is larger and comes with a small screen. Third, the motor is 1 HP compared to 1.25 HP, and while it’s a bit louder than the A1Pro, we didn’t notice a difference in performance when testing.
Similar to the WalkingPad A1 Pro, the app is a little glitchy, but a lot of the irritations we had during the majority of our testing seem to have been fixed with a recent update. Overall, this is a great option for most, but if you’re keen on seeing your stats as you walk, it won’t be for you.
Read our full WalkingPad P1 review.
The main selling point when it comes to WalkingPad’s range of under-desk treadmills is the ability to, quite literally, fold the treadmill away when you’re not using it. Yet compared to the WalkingPad A1 Pro, it’s slightly smaller and slightly lighter. Unlike the WalkingPad P1, it has got a screen to show you all of your metrics on the move.
The WalkingPad C2 is, by nature, pretty compact. Yet don’t let the size of the box fool you — the treadmill is pretty heavy, and you’ll probably need a hand when it comes to wiggling it out of its packaging and moving it to your home office. Once it’s in situ, however, all you need to do is unfold it and plug it into the wall, and you’re ready to walk. Compared to the WalkingPad A1 Pro, the WalkingPad C2 feels a little flimsier — hence the cheaper price. It’s got a thinner plastic border between the edge of the belt and the edge of the treadmill, although the belt didn’t feel too narrow when walking.
During testing, like the other WalkingPad treadmills, we found the app to be a little glitchy, and the automatic mode to be extremely difficult to grasp. It’s a decent option for anyone short on space, but there are cheaper models on the market if you’re not bothered about it folding.
How we test the best under-desk treadmills
We tested the under-desk treadmills on this list by walking on them! Each of our testers used the treadmills in their homes, walking on them as they worked. Our testers used the treadmills with a standing desk, to see how easy it was to walk as they typed, as well as during phone calls and meetings, to see how disruptive it was for their colleagues.
As walking treadmills are designed to be used in the home, we asked our testers for comments on how easy the treadmills were to assemble. We also asked for feedback on how easy they were to store or fold away, when they weren’t in use, and how safe they felt to walk on in the home.
How to choose the best under-desk treadmill for you
The best under-desk treadmill for you will be the one that best fits your lifestyle and your budget. There are a few things to think about before you buy:
Top speed: None of these under-desk treadmills will be suitable for running on. In fact, none of the treadmills on this list can move faster than 4 miles per hour, however, that should be quick enough for most people’s natural walking speed. If you’re looking for a treadmill to power walk, or jog on, you’ll probably want to invest in a treadmill built for running.
Noise: If you are using this treadmill during working hours, you’ll probably want one that isn’t noisy enough for your colleagues to comment during meetings. If you’re just looking for a treadmill to slot under your standing desk, this shouldn’t be as much of a priority.
Storage: A couple of the best under-desk treadmills can be folded in half and stowed away when you’re not using them. For anyone living in an apartment, or in a house with pets or small children, being able to stow the treadmill in a cupboard, or out of sight, is a major plus.