A treadmill is a pretty big piece of equipment. But how big are they exactly and how much floor space do you need to put one in your house? Let’s find out.
The average size of a home treadmill is; 33.9” (w) x 75” (l) x 57.9” (h). To have enough space to use the treadmill properly, add 2” of space on all sides and 2 feet at the rear of your treadmill’s dimensions. For comfort, more open space on at least one side is better.
If you want to know why that is and where the numbers came from, keep reading below.
Just throwing some numbers out there might help you but it’s also good to see where the numbers come from.
Here’s a chart with many popular models of home treadmills and their dimensions.
|Brand||Model/Series||Width (Inch)||Length (Inch)||Height (Inch)||Belt width (Inch)||Belt length (Inch)||Step up height (Inch)|
The average size of a home treadmill is; 33.9” (w) x 75” (l) x 57.9” (h)
Home treadmill widths range from 25” to 40” although the majority of models has a width of 32” to 36”.
Treadmill lengths range from 57” to 85” but the majority of models falls into the 70” to 80” range.
Belt size vs. treadmill size
You might wonder why there is such a big difference in treadmill sizes. The biggest difference is in the belt size. That’s the part you actually walk on.
The industry standard size for treadmill belts is 20” x 60”. As you can see from the chart above, many models for home gyms are that size. However, there are also quite a few that deviate from that size. Of course it stands to reason that if you have a larger/smaller belt, the whole machine will be larger or smaller.
Of course there are some differences in packaging between models that can make a certain belt size treadmill smaller/larger but in general, the treadmill scales with the belt.
How much space do you need around a treadmill?
Now you’re wondering how much floor space you actually need for a treadmill? Of course you can look up the exact size of a treadmill and that’s how much floor space you need to place it in a room. But how much space do you actually need to use it?
Let’s see how much space you need around your treadmill to properly use it. You can then simply add those margins to the dimensions of your specific treadmill to see how much floor space you need.
Length & width
Luckily, you don’t really need all that much space around your treadmill. There are a few things that require a little space;
- Avoid the treadmill rubbing on the walls
- No interference in incline/decline function
- Space to get on the treadmill
To avoid rubbing and interference in incline movement, you just need about 2” on each side and in front of the machine. It touches the wall or it doesn’t so technically 1mm would be enough but, with use treadmills can move around a little so a bit more space is good.
To get on the treadmill, you just need a little path to the rear of the treadmill. About two feet of space behind the treadmill will be plenty to get on and off.
To find out how much free space you need to place a treadmill, take the dimensions of the treadmill and add 2” on all sides and 2 feet on the rear. That allows for enough space where nothing is touching the walls and it’s easy to get on and off.
That’s what’s absolutely necessary. For comfort, you probably want more room around the treadmill. Pushing it into the corner just 2” from the wall might be a bit claustrophobic. If you have a TV on the wall you want to look at, you want to be at least a few feet away. And to get a bit of fresh air, having more space on at least one side makes things more comfortable.
A part most people forget to think about is the ceiling height you need. Most people forget about it because most ceilings are tall enough. But, if you’re worried about hitting your head, here’s how you can figure out if your ceiling is high enough.
There are three parts we have to think about;
- Your height: You stand up straight during walking/running
- Step up height of the treadmill: How high is the belt from the floor (7”-9” is common)
- Headroom: You need a bit of space while standing on the belt so you can run.
- Incline: Incline pushes the front of the belt in the air. That means you’ll be higher as well.
You likely already know your height and the step up height is usually easy to find. You want about 5” of headroom to allow for movement and another 7” if you want to use the incline.
So that means you need a ceiling height that is at least equal to: Your height + 21”. If you have a treadmill with low step up height (less than 7”) you can subtract a corresponding amount of inches from the 21”.
Don’t buy a small treadmill because it fits
That leads me to the next point. You might be tempted to buy a compact treadmill because it fits in your space. However, it’s very important to think about what you want to do with your treadmill and how big you are.
As said above, small treadmills tend to have smaller belts. Smaller can mean shorter as well as narrower.
By far, most treadmill belts are 20” wide. A few are narrower and a few are wider. 20” is the most popular width because it just works to run on for the vast majority of people in the population. If you are anywhere near a normal size, a 20” wide belt is fine.
For normal sized people as little as 16” wide is OK for just walking although 18” is better. For running 20” is much better.
The length of a treadmill belt is even more important. It dictates what you can do with your treadmill but it’s also dependent on your height. Let me explain;
When you run you move your feet further in one step then when walking. That means you need a longer belt to run on than to walk on otherwise your foot could land outside the belt and that’s not going to be fun. Sprinting needs more length than jogging which in turn needs more length than walking.
How much treadmill belt length do you need exactly? That depends on your height. (Or more specifically, the length of your legs but height is a good proxy). The taller you are, the more belt length you need because your feet will land further apart.
In the following links you can find the average stride length for walking.
Those are the stride lengths for walking, but that doesn’t mean that’s the size belt you need. You’ll want at least 10” extra belt length on top of your stride length. However, even the tallest person can walk on the shortest treadmill in the list above.
For running, things change quite a bit. Olympic sprinters have stride ratio (height to stride length) of 1.14 to 1.35. Those are Olympic level sprinters though. During sprinting, you take longer strides than while jogging/running. Also, Olympic athletes are a bit different from us normal people.
A good rule of thumb is multiplying your height in inches by 0.8 to get an approximation of the needed belt size to run on.
That means you have to think about; how tall you are (or any other users) and if you want to run or just walk on your treadmill. That’s why choosing a treadmill just on size is not a good idea. However, once you picked a belt size, you can choose the smallest treadmill within that category.
Treadmill belt size chart
Here is a little chart that will help you choose the right length belt to run on.
Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories
Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:
- Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high quality choice.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and workouts, there is no better choice than the GymNext Flex. It’s super easy to use and set up with a phone app.
- Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
- Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.
To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.