After reading hundreds of reviews and researching deck height, ceiling height, and treadmills, the Nordictrack C990 was my best choice for a low-profile treadmill. It is affordable and packed with all the features a runner could need. Nearly everyone who has used it recommends it highly.
I was hoping you could continue reading to learn about other options and how I chose the best treadmill for low ceilings.
Although it is easy to imagine treadmills being low to the ground, this is not always true. These machines can be quite heavy and tall!
You might have trouble finding the right treadmill for your basement or any other room with low ceilings.
You have 7-foot ceilings. The tallest person is 6’6″. The incline function on your treadmill is something you really want to use. All is not lost.
You should be able to fit a treadmill into your apartment or home as long as you do some research and are willing to sacrifice some of the nicer features.
Let’s get into the research and see my top picks of the best treadmills with low ceilings.
How to Buy a Low-Profile Treadmill for Low Ceilings
It’s not easy to determine if a treadmill can fit in your room with low ceilings.
It is not always easy to find the measurements you require. There are also many variables such as user height, incline settings, and ceiling height.
Here are some basic steps to help you find the best treadmill for low ceilings.
1) Measure your ceiling height. The average ceiling height in an American home stands at 9 feet. You should have enough space for most treadmill models at 9 feet. However, if your ceilings were average or higher than average, you might not be able to fit the treadmill model you want.
Take out a tape measure to determine the ceiling’s true height. Most likely, if your ceiling is short, it will be 7 to 8 feet.
2) Measure the height of the tallest person using your treadmill: This is an important point to remember. If you are 5′ 2″ or 6′ 2″, your experience with fitting a treadmill into a basement or other low-ceiling room will be completely different.
Who will use the treadmill? What is the maximum space you can provide for the tallest person?
4) Determine the deck or step-up height of the treadmill. This is the most important stat to know when shopping for a treadmill. The distance from the ground to the running/walking surface or belt is called the step-up or deck height. While 8-9 inches is a common height for most treadmills, you might want something shorter in your case to ensure safety.
Although this spec is not usually listed, you can still ask manufacturers and look through Amazon’s “Customer Questions Tab” under each treadmill model for more information or an estimate.
5) You’ll want your tallest user to be at least 6” shorter than your deck height. 6” clearance is good for safety.
Anything less than this and your ceiling (or your head) could be damaged. If you have a bouncy stride or haven’t measured correctly, consider wearing thick shoes.
The formula is as follows:
Height of the user + height of the treadmill deck + 6” Ceiling height
As you can see, the numbers add up quickly. In most cases, you will need a minimum of 14 feet above your tallest person to accommodate a treadmill. This is a problem for those with 7-foot ceilings.
For incline settings, add 6 more inches. You’ll need 16” for extreme incline training. High-ceiling rooms are not a good place for intense incline trainers.
6) If your ceilings are 7 feet high and/or tall people, you may want to consider using a treadmill instead. Most models will not have enough clearance.
A treadmill that is very minimalistic and designed for light walking (or light jogging) may be an option. These are usually very, very low to your floor.
You shouldn’t have any problems with major treadmill models if your ceilings measure 9 feet or more.
Let’s now get to my top picks.
Top 6 Best Low-Profile Treadmills for Low Ceiling Rooms
LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill – Best Under-Bed Treadmill for Low Ceilings
It’s not a traditional treadmill. However, it may be a good option if you have shallow ceilings or are really tall. The Lifespan TR1200-DT3 can be placed under a desk to allow for brisk walking and light jogging.
It is therefore very discreet and could be an option for you if your ceilings are too low.
It’s what we love: Okay, it’s not exactly what you expected. It might be a good option if you have low ceilings. This treadmill is not designed for running, but it can walk briskly and burn lots of calories.
This model’s construction is excellent and has received rave reviews. The model is as quiet as a mouse and comes with a handy remote console that allows you to adjust the settings. Keep your mind open!
There are some potential drawbacks to this treadmill. It is very basic and may not have all the features that you would like in a treadmill. This treadmill is mostly for walking.
EFITMENT Slimline – Best Budget Low Ceiling Treadmill
Overview: The EFITMENT Slimline is a significant upgrade to the under-desk treadmill. It also has a lot of features that will appeal to most users while maintaining a low profile.
It’s also very affordable, with many nice features. This is a great choice for basements with low ceilings.
We like it: It is one of the most low-to-the-ground treadmills that I have seen. However, it can also run at true speed (6+ mph). This machine is great for basements and low-ceiling rooms. The machine has wheels to make it portable and folds flat for easy storage.
The performance is excellent despite the slim body and reduced feature set. It can support up to 220 lbs.
Although 7.5 mph is a good speed for such a small machine, it can’t compete with the top treadmill models.
MaxKare Folding Treadmill- The Best Budget, Low Profile Option
Treadmills that are too expensive to maintain a daily, intense workout or have simple features like an incline setting, or a console, are not worth the money.
The MaxKare folding treadmill ticks both of these boxes. The MaxKare folding treadmill is designed like a tank, and it has all the features people look for in a low-profile folding treadmill.
The multi-layer structure of the bike features a 16″ wide and 43″ long tread deck. This is used to absorb noise and cushion joints. The 43″ length may not be ideal for full-stride sprints. It is sufficient for light jogging or low-intensity workouts.
The stainless steel tubing frame is rock solid and won’t creak or shake during your workouts. It can also support a maximum load of 220 pounds.
You can increase your speed from 0.5 mph up to 8.5 mph with a 2.5HP copper motor. This motor allows you to do so in controlled increments. The speed controls can be found on the handrails. This includes an integrated heart rate monitor that allows you to monitor your vital signs.
The LCD control is very simple and provides all the information you need clearly and concisely. It is simple to use the LCD control, free of clutter, and choose functions such as the 15 exercise programs.
When you’re done using it, you can easily pick it up and fold it. It is protected from damage by the soft drop mechanism and can also be easily unfolded.
The MaxKare Folding Treadmill is overall very impressive. It may not have all the features you need or be the fastest to sprint at maximum speed. It beats many of its competitors with similar costs.
Proform 905CST Low-Profile Treadmill
You have found the right investment if you want a high-end treadmill for your home. We will start with the price, as it is the most important thing you will see. This is the most expensive item on our list. If you plan to purchase it, make sure to make a substantial investment.
Despite this, the device is packed with features that will make any investment worthwhile.
The unit is made of steel and plastics and is very durable. It is only 218 pounds and can hold a 350-pound person. This system is extremely powerful.
You can crank the thing up to 12 mph if you feel like it. This makes it a great way to make sprints on a treadmill. The deck, which is 8 inches above the ground, is quite impressive for such a heavy piece of equipment. It also has shock cushioning built into it. For shock absorption, the deck can be adjusted to a height of 13.5 inches.
You won’t feel like you’re pounding your joints on concrete when you run on this machine. The best part is that the machine’s smooth “ProShox deck” will not make your neighbors or family members sick of hearing you run. It muffles the sound a fair amount.
This treadmill also comes with a nice monitor. The LCD will display your fitness program, speed, heart rate, distance, calories burnt, and other information. This LCD is a great way to receive live feedback about the results of your exercise.
Many small accessories can make your workouts more enjoyable. There are fans to keep you cool and Bluetooth connectivity to your music. You can also attach a heart rate monitor.
The deck can fold away when it is not being used, which is great news for people who live in smaller spaces. You can enjoy the full benefits of a treadmill without worrying about it getting in the way of your daily life. You can store it in a corner or corner and put it away when not using it.
The best part is that the company offers three-year warranties to manufacturers for the frame, engine, and desk. This means you can go hundreds (or even thousands) of miles without worry.
Nordictrack C990 and T6.5S Treadmills – Best Overall Treadmills for Low Ceilings
Overview: The C990 is a great option if you don’t want to compromise performance or features for a low profile. It is one of the most popular treadmills on the market, and it comes in a little shorter than its rivals.
Users and top review sites such as The Wirecutter, The New York Times, and The Wirecutter highly recommend the Nordictrack C990.
The C series has been discontinued in recent years. You’ll be able to find the Nordictrack Nordictrack T6.5S treadmill and T series very similar. They also have a similar profile.
We like it: It is a premium model made by Nordictrack, one of the most respected manufacturers of home exercise equipment.
You’ve found the perfect feature set if you’re looking to run up to 12 mph and increase the incline to 12% if necessary. This requires extra headroom. Preloaded workouts. 60” belt length, perfect for most runners.
The C990 is a great choice. It’s great if it fits in your basement or low ceiling room (refer to my formula above).
Potential drawbacks: This is the second most expensive option on our list. It may not suit all rooms with low ceilings, but it is the most expensive full-featured treadmill available at this height.
Some reviewers felt that certain functions on computers required a subscription for Nordictrack’s iFit.
Sole F80 – Best High-End Treadmill for Low Ceilings
The Sole F80 treadmill is a great option for those with a bit more cash.
The Sole F80 is only 8 inches tall and has an amazing 15% incline. This may or may not be possible, depending on your ceiling height.
This Nordictrack comes from a top manufacturer, has incredible quality, and is durable. However, its price tag is almost twice that of the Nordictrack.
It’s a great fit for basements and other low ceiling areas.
The maximum speed is 12 mph, and the maximum incline of 15% will give you a great workout.
The frame is precision-welded steel and designed to last a lifetime.
The treadmill has a beautiful LCD of 9 inches and a 60-foot running surface. This should be suitable for all runners. The treadmill can also support up to 375 pounds.
However, the Sole F80 is the most expensive option. This is where the major problem lies.
If you are willing to pay and don’t mind sacrificing any features, this is the right way.
If your basement or home is only 7 feet high, it won’t be easy to find a treadmill that fits.
You might find a more minimalist option that works well for you. Or, you could look into a stationary bike and rowing machine.
Remember the above formula when shopping. Your ceiling height should be equal to or less than your user height. You could be a safety risk if you tamper with the numbers.
What’s a good low-profile treadmill?
If your ceilings are low, it can be difficult to find the right treadmill. My favorite treadmill is the Nordictrack C990 treadmill. (See the link above).
It is a step-up or deck height of approximately 7 inches, making it one of the most usable and feature-rich.
You can go lower, but you will have to sacrifice a lot, like maximum speed, maximum incline, weight limit, and so on.
Be sure to consider the height of your tallest user. If you are short in stature, you may be able to go with a larger treadmill. You should be careful about what treadmill you purchase if you have people over 6′ tall. In extreme cases, you might need to buy a completely different piece of equipment.
What if my ceiling is too low to use a treadmill?
This is not a decision I would make lightly. Don’t try to fit a large treadmill into a small space in your basement or another small area if you are worried about its size!
Number one, treadmills can be very expensive. It can be costly to regret making the wrong decision and forcing a treadmill into your home. It can also be dangerous. It is dangerous to put yourself or someone else’s head on the ceiling while working out. This could lead to concussions, bruising, and other injuries.
Although it sounds absurd, fast running can give you a lot of bounce. If you don’t have enough ceiling clearance, this could be a problem.
If you have very low ceilings, I recommend something less prominent like a rowing machine and a bodyweight exercise.