Whether you are after fat loss, cardio efficiency or a combination of the two, a treadmill will provide the training solution you need. Yet, treadmills are heavy duty workhouses that take a beating. A lot of the cheaper machines out there do not provide you with the strength and stability to perform year in and year out. To have real confidence in you treadmil, you want it to have at least a 400 pound weight capacity. In this article, we focus in on the dozen best treadmills with a 400 lb weight capacity.
Finding a Heavy Duty Treadmill
When you are buying a heavy duty treadmill there are certain things that you need to be looking out for. You’ll need a wide running deck to accommodate larger sixed individuals. After all, a four hundred pound capacity isn’t going to do you much good if you are going to be constricted on the running belt. So, make sure that the running belt is wide enough to accommodate you natural walking gait.
If you plan on walking on the treadmill, you don’t have to worry too much about the overall length of the running belt. But if you will be running on it, you will want it to be at least 55 inches in length.
The most important feature that you need to look for is a heavy duty treadmill. The maximum user weight rating for a treadmill is the major gauge as to how sturdy it is. In order to be able to advertise a certain weight rating, the manufacturer needs to put the machine through rigorous testing. However, it is always advisable to have a minimum of a 50 pound differential between your weight and the max user weight rating. In other words, if you weigh 350 pounds, buy a treadmill that is rated to 400 pounds.
Why you need to worry about the weight rating
If you use a treadmill that is rated for a maximum bodyweight that is less than your weight, you face a number of potential problems. First and foremost among them is to do with the performance of the motor. A motor that is forced to support a person who is too heavy for it will overheat and cause mechanical damage to the workings of the motor.
If you are exercising on a treadmill that is too lightweight for you, it is quite possible that the treadmill will come to a sharp and sudden top. This can be very dangerous as it may cause the person to lunge forward uncontrollably.
Using a treadmill that is rated for less than your bodyweight will avoid the warranty. If the motor overheats, the belt rips or anything else happens you will be left out in the lurch.
The majority of heavy-duty treadmills are commercial rated to between 350 and 450 pounds. In contrast, most home use treadmills are rated between 250 and 350 pounds.
Should you buy a folding VS non-folding treadmill?
A lot of buyers of home use treadmills prefer to invest in a folding unit due to its ability to be folded for out of sight storage. When it comes to needing a treadmill for heavy duty users, however, you are fat better off going with a non-folding option. A non folding machine will provide you with a far more stable unit. That means that a non-folding machine, even it is of the same maximum user weight rating, will always feel more solid and secure than a folding treadmill. MaxKare makes a solid folding treadmill, although it has a lower weight limit.
Of course, as with everything, there re exception to the rule. Our top rated treadmill is the Sole F85 folding treadmill. This is an impressively sturdy folding treadmill with a 400 pound capacity
Best Treadmills with 400+ lb Capacity
1. SOLE F85 Folding Treadmill 400 lbs Capacity
The Sole Fitness F85 is marketed as the world’s best folding treadmill. This the premium offering from this very popular home cardio equipment manufacturer. It provides you high quality parts that are usually ear-marked for Sole’s range of hotel ready treadmills. The motor capacity in exceptional, with its 4.0 CHP energy production allowing for a max speed of 12 mph and a maximum of user weight of 400 pounds.
The incline capacity of the Sole F85 is another outstanding feature. You get an incredible 30 levels up to a max incline of 15 percent. The running deck on the F85 is fitted with sole’s CushionFlex Whisper deck technology that is purported to be able to reduce joint impact by up to 40 percent when compared to more traditional treadmill running surfaces. In addition, this technology provides greater impact reduction. And to top it all off, CushionFlex technology provides a quiet, smooth operation.
The console on the F85 impresses. It delivers a 10.1-inch screen with graphic display on a white background. There are 10 programs built into the F85 designed to fast track you to your fat loss, muscle gain and cardio training goals.
Your purchase of the F85 treadmill comes with a 5 year warranty on electronics and parts, and an incredible lifetime warranty on the frame, motor and deck.
2. Sole Fitness S77 Non-Folding Treadmill 400 lbs capacity
The Sole S77 is a commercial quality treadmill that is built and priced for the home user. The heavy duty steel frame is among the most sturdy that we have come across. It has the same 4.0 CHP motor that you get with the foldable F85 version from Sole. You also get a thick 2-ply belt, and 2.75 inch belt rollers. This ensures that you get a smooth, natural running or walking motion. Two zinc-coated flywheels help minimize vibration.
The running deck on the Sole S77 is generous 60 x 22 inches, providing a spacious running bed even for people who are over six feet tall. This is a couple of inches wider than you find with most competitor models. The Cushion Flex Whisper Deck system that is a built-in feature of Sole treadmills produces a very joint friendly low impact running or walking experience.
The S77 is fitted with wireless heart rate monitoring technology. This makes it compatible with a wireless heart strap for the most accurate pulse detection possible. However, the chest strap is not included with your purchase.
This commercial quality treadmill is also Bluetooth enabled, giving you the ability to play your favorite motivational music as an accompaniment to your workout.
The same great warranty that you get on the F85 applies to the S77 - lifetime on frame, motor and deck; 5 years on electronics and 2 years on in-house repairs.
3. Sole Fitness TT8 Light Commercial Non-Folding Treadmill
The Sole TT8 is one of the most popular treadmills in the sole range. Just like the F85, it provides you with a generous 22 x 60 inch running bed, a powerful 4.0 CHP motor and a very solid frame. An additional feature of this machine is simulated downhill running in addition to the normal incline. The incline ranges from -6 to +15 degrees. The incline adjustment is located on the handrest, which is very handy.
The TT8 features a very thick, joint impact reducing running track. It has four layers of track and 3 inch running crowned bed rollers, which is a half inch larger than standard. The track of this treadmill is also self-lubricating so that your maintenance requirement is reduced. This allows for an extremely smooth and natural running experience. This treadmill is Bluetooth enabled so that you have access to the Sole Fitness app to extend the potential of your workout. This app turns your mobile device into the control center for your treadmill. The console on the TT8 also features an integrated tablet holder, Bluetooth audio speakers, and a USB charging port.
4. LifeFitness Integrity Series
The Life Fitness integrity series of treadmills are refurbished commercial machines that are sold to the home user at a much reduced price. It features a whisper quiet 4 HP motor, a max speed of 14 miles pr hours (compared to 12 mph on the Sole Fitness range). Flex Deck technology reduces impact on your joints and you also get incline capability to 15 degrees.
A cool Zone Training+ feature on this treadmill automatically adjusts your incline to meet the needs of your training. There are also a number of preset programs and you can even design your own goal driven programs. Wireless heart rate monitoring is built into this treadmill.
The Life Fitness Integrity is a relatively heavy treadmill with a large footprint. It also provides a very limited warranty at just 12 months.
5. LifeFitness Elevation Series
The Lifespan Elevation series is a commercial line that features FlexDeck technology. aa powerful 4.0 CHP motor and generous running track of 22 x 60 inches. The console features a variety of high spec options to enhance your entertainment and training options. The max speed of 14 miles per hour is among the best that you will come across. This machine is enabled for wireless heart rate monitoring but the required chest strap is not included.
The Lifespan Elevation series feature a very large touchscreen console. You get a very comprehensive running readout of your training data, including speed, Incline, heart rate (current, average, max), pace, elapsed time, time remaining, time in zone, time of day, distance, distance climbed, distance remaining, calories, and calories/HR.
You get 15 workout programs with this treadmill.
6. LifeSpan TR7000i Commercial Treadmill
The Lifespan TR7000i features a 3.5 HP motor, which is a half horse power less than most of its competitors on this page. Where it excels is in terms of incline capability. You get 15 levels of incline. Combine this with the max speed of 12 mph and you have plenty of potential for a serious workout. A 1,000 pound thrust incline motor and 3” crowned rollers help to deliver a smooth, jerk free belt movement is also impressively joint friendly.
7. LifeSpan TR8000i Medical Treadmill
The LifeFitness TR8000i Medical Treadmill has specific medical capabilities that set it apart from all of the other models on this review page. It has a 5 HP motor, which is one horse power more than anything else we have come across. It provides you with a very gentle 0.1 km per hour starting speed, up to a maximum of 12 mph. You also get reverse speeds of up to 3 km. Extended full length handrails extend along the entire length of both sides of the treadmill.
The TR8000i provides a very joint friendly running / walking track. It features a 1,000 pound thrust incline motor and 3” crowned rollers, and independent compression shocks. You also get incline and decline capability between 3 and 12 degrees.
8. Sunny Health & Fitness 7700 CARDIO TRAINER MANUAL TREADMILL 440 lbs capacity
The Sunny Asuna 7700 is a manual treadmill that is built for some serious exercise. It features a unique streamlined design that is streamlined for maximum momentum with minimum joint impact. The incline feature on this machine allows for six angling options, with the highest level being much steeper than you would get on an electric treadmill. Multi grip handlebars allow for a variety of training positions so you can challenge your muscles and your cardio system in a range of ways. This is a very sturdy, yet simple unit that is ergonomically designed to provide you with the best cardio burning efficiency from every foot fall. You get 8 adjustable resistance levels on this treadmill. Because it is self-propelled it takes quite simple every to get started and the fact that you have to sustain the momentum means that you will burn more calories than on an electric treadmill.
9. Exerpeutic TF1000 400 lbs Capacity
The TF1000 has been designed as a walking, as opposed to a running, treadmill for larger people. It has a max user weight of 400 pounds and the highest speed is just 4 miles per hours, with increase increments of 1 km. This treadmill is powered by a 1.5 HP motor.
The TF1000 has a 20” x 40” walking track, which is a little smaller than most of the others on this page. There are also no workout programs built into the console. The frame on this unit is foldable, allowing the treadmill to be stored away when not in use. It will arrive on your doorstep almost fully assembled, which is a bonus, and can be acquired at a competitive price point.
10. Exerpeutic 2000 WorkFit High Capacity Desk Station Treadmill 400 lbs capacity
The Exerpeutic TF2000 Treadmill is specifically designed for elderly people. It is an upgraded version of the TF1000T. The solid frame will support up to 350 pounds of max user weight. The low deck and full-length side rails are designed to help elderly folks to maintain their balance and stay safe. Though not foldable, this is a relatively compact treadmill. The belt size is 50 x 16 inches and features white markings so you can clearly see when the belt is moving. The deck is reinforced with 10 shock absorbing cushions, while four stabilizing adjusters ensure that your base is stable on any type of surface.
11. Bowflex BXT216
The Bowflex BXT216 is another heavy duty treadmill that is not compromised by its folding ability. You get 400 pounds of max user weight, a large 22 x 60 inch running deck, Bluetooth and heart rate monitoring (they even throw in the chest strap) on this impressive machine. The 11 built in programs focus on weight loss, speed performance, heart rate zone training and more. A hydraulic assist system makes folding and unfolding safe and easy. Overall this is a very impressive treadmill which provides many commercial quality features for the home user.
The best treadmill with at least a 400 lb. capacity on today’s market is the SOLE F85 Folding Treadmill 400 lbs capacity. In fact, as we’ve seen, Sole are the champions of the high capacity home user treadmill, with 5 of their treadmills featuring in our Top 12 list! If Sole doesn’t work for you, we high recommend the Bowflex T216. Elderly folks should take a close look at the Exerpeutic TF2000.