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Should You Buy a Treadmill From Costco? Here Are the Pros and Cons


Despite frequent speculations that treadmills may one day be replaced atop the cardio equipment sales charts, they remain the kings of cardiovascular equipment. Not only are treadmills the most popular fitness devices used by members of commercial gyms, but they remain unchallenged as the most purchased home fitness machines.

With that said, even the best treadmills are far from one-size-fits-all fitness solutions. They vary by size, speed, shape, power, functionality, storability, durability, and cost, which means you have a lot to consider before you purchase one. 

Credit: Ljupco Smokovski / Shutterstock

So with all of that in mind, when you’re sliding your shopping cart through the aisles at Costco, is it worth your while to consider the treadmills offered by the members-only retail warehouse? 

Benefits of Buying a Treadmill From Costco

Just because a treadmill is on sale at a massive retail chain that prioritizes bulk purchases shouldn’t imply that those treadmills are subpar. Not only would such an assumption be wholly inaccurate, but there are actually several advantages to purchasing a Costco treadmill as opposed to buying elsewhere.

The Treadmills Are On Display

One of the benefits of purchasing fitness equipment at Costco is that it is usually preassembled in a sales aisle and displayed for your assessment. In other words, when you visit Costco intending to purchase a new treadmill, you won’t need to guess how the dimensions listed on the box will translate to the available space in your garage or home gym. Instead, you can personally size up the treadmill before you make a decision.

The Treadmills Are From Recognizable Brands

For some reason, there’s a pervasive belief that items sold by big-box retailers are automatically generic or of inferior quality to exercise equipment purchased elsewhere. In some instances, this might be true. However, the treadmill brands offered by Costco are manufactured by stalwart companies like NordicTrack and ProForm — some of the most recognizable and reputable names in fitness.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean these offered treadmills will be ideally suited for you, it certainly doesn’t mean you should dismiss them based on who they’re developed by.

The Treadmills Are Often Deeply Discounted

Most people don’t have their fitness acquisitions backed by bottomless bank accounts, so price is often a limiting factor. Costco’s pricing model is predicated on offering deep discounts to each store’s members.

So if you are desirous of the many treadmill benefits that come with having one, you will probably be able to purchase a treadmill at Costco for hundreds of dollars less than that same treadmill might have cost you elsewhere

Credit: Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

[Read More: The 8 Best Walking Treadmills]

In this sense, if Costco is offering a treadmill you might have been interested in under ordinary circumstances, the provided discount will probably push you to reach for your credit card without reluctance.

Cons of Buying a Treadmill at Costco

There are pros and cons to just about every major purchase, and this will hold true if you’re buying a treadmill through a Costco outlet. This isn’t to say that there is anything fundamentally wrong with any of Costco’s treadmill offerings, but you should be cognizant of some potential shortcomings in their sales proposition. 

The Treadmills Are Discounted for a Reason

Most fitness companies aren’t placing their state-of-the-art treadmills on sale at Costco. Now, will this ultimately matter to you? It all depends on the features offered by each treadmill (like iFit compatibility, LCD screens, or extra tread cushioning), and how particular you are about your treadmill workout.

By committing to an older or budget treadmill model, you may find yourself forgoing state-of-the-art features that you’ll regret later. Or, you may acquire a discounted model that no longer receives the same level of manufacturer support or connectivity that it received when it was brand new.

The Options Are Still Limited

While having the option to assess the treadmills in person is preferred, the fact remains that Costco has limited display space and is not a dedicated sporting goods chain. You may find yourself with fewer than five treadmills to choose from at Costco at any given time. As a consequence, you are unlikely to be presented with a full slate of treadmills that are easily distinguishable from one another on the basis of their offered value.

Treadmills Available at Costco 

The present selection of treadmills available at Costco provides shoppers with a representation of what is expected from a competitive treadmill in the modern market. Specifically, they all have running surface lengths of at least 55 inches, inclines of at least 10 percent, and maximum speeds of at least 12 miles per hour. In addition, they all have a peak trainee weight capacity of 300 pounds.

Credit: SofikoS / Shutterstock

[Read More: The 8 Best Folding Treadmills]

The place where the treadmills have the greatest variance is in the area of continuous horsepower. While all four treadmills have CHP motor ratings of at least 2.5, a CHP rating of 3.0 or greater is advised for people who prefer to run on their treadmills four or more times per week. The higher CHP rating is indicative of a stronger motor that can sustain a greater maximum speed without giving out.

[Read More: The 7 Best Incline Treadmills]

Another notable element of these models is that ProForm and NordicTrack treadmills are iFIT membership compatible, granting you access to over 16,000 live and on-demand workout programs to keep you motivated. If you opt for the Echelon treadmill, a one year Echelon Fit membership is included with purchase.

ProForm Trainer 8.7

Maximum Incline: 10 percent
Maximum Speed: 12 MPH
Running Surface Length: 55 inches
Running Surface Width: 20 inches
Motor Power: 2.75 CHP

[Read More: ProForm City L6 Treadmill Review]

NordicTrack S45i 

Maximum Incline: 12 percent
Maximum Speed: 12 MPH
Running Surface Length: 55 inches
Running Surface Width: 20 inches
Motor Power: 3.0 CHP

[Read More: NordicTrack T Series Treadmill Review]

ProForm 9000

Maximum Incline: 12 percent
Maximum Speed: 12 MPH
Running Surface Length: 60 inches
Running Surface Width: 20 inches
Motor Power: 3.6 CHP

[Read More: ProForm Pro 9000 Treadmill Review]

Echelon Stride 4S+

Maximum Incline: 12 percent
Maximum Speed: 12 MPH
Running Surface Length: 55 inches
Running Surface Width: 20 inches
Motor Power: 3.0 CHP

[Read More: Echelon Treadmill Review]

So, Should You Buy a Treadmill From Costco?

If your fitness objective is to purchase an indoor treadmill for running to help you maintain your 5K readiness from the comfort of your home, Costco can accommodate you. But, you won’t currently be able to purchase a high-end smart, commercial-grade, or self-propelled treadmill.

Another thing to note is that your Costco treadmill may not be subject to the same warranty and return policy as the manufacturer’s site. However, if you’re hoping for a stellar workout on your home turf, a big-box chain like Costco can provide you with a big-bucks treadmill at a rock-bottom price.


If you still have questions about whether or not Costco is the right place to purchase a new treadmill, we’ve got answers for you:

Is Costco a good place to buy a treadmill? 

Depending on your training priorities, Costco can be an excellent place to buy a new treadmill. The majority of Costco’s treadmill offerings are sufficient enough to satisfy the training needs of consumers who want treadmills with a wide range of features. However, Costco’s treadmills are offered with fitness generalists in mind, and are not highly specialized units.

What is a good treadmill for the money? 

A treadmill possessing the characteristics defined here—2.5 CHP, 55-inch running surface, 10-percent incline, 12 MPH speed, and 300-pound weight limit—can be secured for around $1,000. Most treadmills that fetch less expensive prices compromise in one or more of these areas, the most common of which is continuous horsepower. Many treadmills advertise HP, or horsepower, as opposed to CHP, but HP is not an accurate reflection of the treadmill’s production over an extended period, which is measured by CHP.

How much does a treadmill weigh?

The weights of treadmills can vary greatly, from 50-pound units that prioritize their minimalistic elements to 300-pound units that prioritize sturdiness and come with dozens of features. With that in mind, the weight of an average treadmill purchased for the home exercise market typically falls within 120 and 160 pounds.

Featured Image: Ljupco Smokovski / Shutterstock

The post Should You Buy a Treadmill From Costco? Here Are the Pros and Cons appeared first on BarBend.

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