Wondering if you have to worry about the user weight limit of a home treadmill? I’ve compiled a list of the most popular home treadmills and their load limits. Here’s what you want to know.
When shopping for a treadmill, looking at the user load limit is important since some can be as low as 200 lbs. Most home treadmills have a load limit of 250 lbs. to 350 lbs. while some can handle as much as 400 lbs. Exceeding the load limit can significantly shorten the lifespan of a treadmill.
Below you can find a list of popular home treadmills and their weight limits. You’ll also find out why you should or shouldn’t care about that number.
Popular home treadmills weight limits
There’s nothing useful about looking at a single treadmills’ specs and calling generalizing those specifications to all treadmills.
Different treadmills have very different specifications. There’s a reason why there are so many on the market. Variety is a good thing but you do have to know what you’re looking for. So if weight limit is important to you, here is a list of about 60 different models that are meant for domestic use. That information will give some more clarity on our question.
As you can see, there is a wide range of load limits between treadmills. The average load limit of this selection of treadmills is 335 lbs. However, when you look through the list, you can see that the load limits range from 200 to 400 lbs. The majority of treadmills can handle from 250 lbs. to 350 lbs.
Keep in mind: These are treadmills for domestic use. Models for commercial use tend to have slightly higher load limits. Most commercial models can handle at least 400 lbs.
Does treadmill weight limit even matter?
So you might think, does it even matter what the manufacturer load limit on my treadmill is?
It certainly does matter for a few reasons;
- Premature wear
The first reason why you should care about the load limit is because you could simply damage the treadmill. If it’s not made to handle a certain weight, you can’t expect it to handle it.
Manufacturers know people look at these specifications to make a buying decision. If they could safely claim a higher load limit on their treadmill than a competitor, they would do it. Sure, there is a safety margin in that number but you have no idea how big that safety margin is.
Also, even two examples of exactly the same model treadmill could fail at a different weight if you’d actually test them. The safety margin is also there to cover differences in welds and other factors.
Ok, so a treadmill doesn’t immediately break down when you put 1 pound too much on it. Pushing it over the limit will accelerate wear of several parts though.
The belt, motor, rollers and bearing can all wear out. They are made to certain specifications which include a load limit. These parts might not break immediately but putting more stress on them than intended will wear them out faster than staying within the limits for sure.
That means your maintenance costs will go up quite a bit.
It’s quite simple, if the treadmill is damaged or a part wears out sooner than it’s supposed to (within warranty), the manufacturer is responsible for fixing it.
However, if you didn’t use the machine as per the manufacturer’s directions, they don’t have to fix anything if they don’t want to.
Now there is a caveat here. It really depends on how you use the treadmill. Just walking exerts much less force on everything than running. So if you’re just using your treadmill to walk at a leisurely pace, there might be some more leeway than if you’re sprinting.
However, for obvious reasons I can’t recommend exceeding the load limit for any reason.
Is a higher treadmill weight limit better?
So after reading the previous paragraphs you might think that a higher load limit is always better. Are there any benefits or drawbacks to getting a treadmill with a higher weight limit than you need?
There aren’t many downsides to having a high load limit except one we’ll get to later. Let’s take a look a the benefits first. To hold a higher weight, it has to be constructed in a sturdier way. That means more material and better construction is used.
Not only the frame has to be stronger, all the moving components like the motor, belt, rollers and bearings have to be stronger as well. These are all items that wear out over time. If they’re rated for higher weights, they will likely last longer under a lighter weight. This is not guaranteed and proper maintenance is still required.
Also, if you often have guests over that might want to use the treadmill, you don’t have to worry about anything. A treadmill with a higher load limit means better construction which means better longevity all else being equal.
There is one downside to all this though; Cost.
Sturdier construction means;
- More material
- Stronger materials
- Better quality control
- Stronger components
That means it costs more to produce. So there are some benefits to getting a treadmill with a higher load limit but, it’s going to cost more.
Also, because components are stronger, replacing them will cost more. So not only the buying price is higher but also the maintenance cost.
Most treadmills with high load limits tend to be in the higher price ranges. Is that worth it? That’s up to you to decide. For most people a load limit that is a little higher than you need is good. There’s no need to double it though.