Having a treadmill at home is a perfect way to keep up your commitment to your health and fitness – whatever the weather happens to be doing outside!
One of the limitations is that most commercial treadmill brands only produce machines that go up to around three or four MPH for walking and around eight MPH for a run, so they’re a bit restricted when you want an all-out sprint or a challenging set of intervals.
If you would like to invest in a seriously good quality 12 MPH treadmill and want some recommendations about the best equipment out there, we’ve got you covered!
Let’s get started with our seven favorite options, comparing all the pros and cons, prices, and performance ratings.
After a quick-fire recommendation? For our money, it’s hard to beat the XTERRA Fitness TRX3500 – and it’s got a max MPH of 12 miles, so pushing the limits of the training speed possible.
The Best 12 MPH Treadmills for Home and Gym Use:
Each of the models we’ve looked at below has been put to the 24-hour test. We evaluate performance, ease of use, reliability, and the machine’s quality.
The XTERRA is a strong, sturdy, and stable treadmill with a great blend of weight capacity and speed – there’s no trade-off here, and you get a near-silent workout with your footfalls the loudest noise in the room.
Although it’s a very cost-effective machine, there’s a lot of attention to detail with rollers of 2.3″ and 1.75″ (rear and front, respectively), measuring up nicely against the cheaper, smaller rollers you tend to get on most non-commercial treadmills.
Assembly is straightforward, although it’s easiest between two people since you’re looking at a package of over 100 kg – that’s all down to the alloy steel frame, supporting up to 350 lbs of user weight.
Stash your treadmill away when not in use with a simple Lift Assist and Safe Drop mechanism, enjoy a gentler impact on your knees and ankles with XTRASoft cushioning, and challenge yourself to a variety of workouts with over 30 pre-set training programs to follow.
- Speed limit: 12 MPH
- Weight limit: 300 lbs
- Excellent warranties for the frame, motor, deck, parts, and labor costs
- Accessible treadmill with a large 20 x 60″ belt
- Bright LCD with 30 pre-set workouts
- Bluetooth FTMS capability
- Heavy treadmill, so easier to assemble with a friend
- The heart rate monitor isn’t the most precise
The XTERRA TRX3500 is a great choice, whether you want a long-distance treadmill that can ramp up the speed or excellent value for money – it ranks just above the sister model (TRX4500) purely due to the price point, which is very difficult to argue with.
Next up, we have the NordicTrack 8.5S, which has three models in the series. The T 85.S is our choice, blending the right amount of power with added extras like the 10″ console to track progress and watch your times.
That screen is the key to getting the most out of this model, with on-demand studio workouts, interactive coaching, and real-time sessions. However, you’ll need to renew your iFit membership after the first year (it’s included as a freebie, worth $396 for 12 months).
Given that it’s on our list of the best 12 MPH treadmills, we know it’s got the right speed, but the incline controls make it a hot second, with settings between zero and 12%, depending on how much of a challenge you’d like.
EasyLift Assist is a must, allowing you to fold your machine away neatly – even with a sturdy 115 kg frame, you can wheel your treadmill into a corner or cupboard when you’re not hitting the track.
- Speed Limit: 12 MPH
- Weight limit: 300 lbs
- Rated 4.5 out of five (1,644 reviews)
- Real-time, interactive workouts
- Free iFit membership for one year
- Ten-year frame warranty
- The handles are rather low for taller runners
- You need to pay upfront for iFit and claim a rebate
The NordicTrack T Series isn’t the cheapest treadmill, but it’s got all the features you expect from more advanced gym equipment, with a less bulky profile and a slimmer frame that you can fit neatly into even a small living space.
Our third contender is the Nautilus Series, with two models to choose from. The T618 is a cool black treadmill with a 350 lb weight limit, while the T616 can handle up to 300 lbs and is about 70 lbs lighter in slick alloy steel.
Both have a 12 MPH speed limit, with corded electric power running the generous 20 x 60″ running track, cushioned with StrikeZone for a softer footfall and less pressure on your joints.
The great benefit here is the functional incline, adjustable right up to 15% if you’d like to test yourself on the hills in the comfort of your own home. Each machine comes with two high-res backlist displays, so you can watch a tablet or mobile or keep pace with one of the 50+ routes.
You get a wireless heart rate monitor thrown in, which integrates with the comfort hand grips to track your workout, and you can easily fold the deck down when you’re done for the day, thanks to the SoftDrop mechanism.
- Speed limit: 12 MPH
- Weight limit: 300 – 350 lbs
- Ten-year warranty on the motor and frame
- Choice of a matte black or alloy steel finish
- Wireless heart rate strap included
- Adjustable incline up to 15%
- The warranties are good, but it takes persistence to get a callback
- You need a patch cord to play music through the speakers
The Nautilus Series is a good option if you’d like a high-powered treadmill with a fast top speed with a strong, tough frame that folds down neatly.
We reviewed the XTERRA TRX3500 as our top choice, and the TRX4500 in the same series comes in fourth, still with a 12 MPH capacity and excellent value for money, but just a tad pricier.
The differences aren’t significant – you get a one-inch larger screen size, the same belt, and weight limit, but an extra 0.25 HP, but those variances might be essential if you want something a tad bulkier or value the slightly bigger screen!
Your pre-sets include 30 programs so you can select whichever workout you feel like taking on, plus two custom settings to design your own – all managed through the blue backlit LCD so you can watch your progress without slowing down.
An alloy steel frame is tough and solid, with a lifetime warranty on both the structure and motor, the trademark XTRASoft deck, a built-in fan for when it gets sticky, and transport wheels for easy manoeuvring.
- Speed Limit: 12 MPH
- Weight limit: 350 lbs
- Excellent extended warranty period
- Large, bright LCD screen
- Full Bluetooth FTMS compatibility
- 15 different incline levels
- Higher price point than the TRX3500 with only a few minor upgrades
The motor speed in the TRX4500 is likely to be most important for regular runners because it limits wear and tear. If you expect to use your treadmill several times a week, the robust 3.25 HP might make all the difference.
The NordicTrack comes hot on the heels of the T Series from the same brand, with the Commercial Series that includes an upfront 30-day iFit membership – some users prefer this option because the 12-month inclusive subscription requires an upfront payment with a rebate offered after one year.
You get three models to pick from with that essential 0 – 12 MPH speed we’re looking for! The l750 is black, with a 350 lb user limit, 3.75 HP, and 50 programs to switch between.
If you’re after the middle-of-the-range treadmill in the series, you’ll want the 2950, with an impressive 400 lbs weight limit, 4 HP, and the same incline variance. The NordicTrack 2450 Commercial Series also comes with the same 400 lbs capacity and 4 HP, but a contrasting black and gray frame finish (and a little higher price to match).
These are seriously powerful machines, with some of the biggest motors we’ve seen and all those features you expect from a high-quality treadmill. You get EasyLift, HD touchscreens, up to 15% incline controls, and a super cool auto-adjuster to match your speed and incline to a real-world track.
- Speed limit: 12 MPH
- Weight limit: 350 – 400 lbs
- Interactive 14-inch HD screen
- One month free iFit membership
- Generous 20 x 60″ track
- High-quality series of treadmills
- Too heavy to lift for assembly by yourself
- The iFit app doesn’t pair – you use the touch screen instead
NordicTrack has it sorted when it comes to seamless functionality – if you wear a BLE 4.0 compatible heart rate monitor, it’ll self-sync by itself when you’re near your treadmill. Need a break? Hit the 10-minute pause button and pick up where you left off.
The selling point for the SOLE F63 is that it is made from a rugged, almost imposing steel frame – with guarantees that it’ll last throughout difficult workouts. It’s certainly one of the heaviest treadmills we’ve tested that reach 12 MPH, weighing in at 115 kg per unit.
We like some of the gadgets – you can charge your phone in the USB port (or plug in your headphones), run as fast as you want with a Cushion Flex Whisper Deck to keep your joints happy, and switch through 15 incline levels according to your mood.
This treadmill is certainly on point for tech, with built-in Bluetooth speakers, an integrated tablet holder, a decent 3.0 HP motor, and foldable functionality to help with smart storage.
You can shift between programs and settings through the buttons positioned conveniently on the handrails and get a cool blast of refreshing air from the fan when you start heating up!
- Speed limit: 12 MPH
- Weight limit: 325 lbs
- Up to a 40% incline
- Soft, cushioned deck to protect your joints
- Full tech integrations
- Convenient folding mechanism
- The speakers are a little underpowered
- Handrails can become slippery
SOLE is proud to have won some Best in Price Range accolades, and it’s certainly a very good machine for the cost, with a powerful motor aiding higher-paced sprints.
We’ve put this treadmill in sixth place, as the extra tech isn’t for everyone and does add a little to the price tag!
Seventh but by no means least, we have the 3G Cardio Pro Runner – and this treadmill has something special that sets it apart (although the value depends on you!). The belt is made with Ortho Flex, an orthopedic belt, which means it can manage runners up to 350 lbs without stressing injuries.
3G has a few models in their treadmill range, but we like the Pro Runner best – the Elite Runner also has a 12 MPH max, but most of the additional cost you pay is for a very slightly larger belt and a longer warranty – which with a 350 lb capacity we’re not sure you need!
Every model comes with a lifetime warranty for the frame and drive motor in any case, so you’re well protected, and you can fold the treadmill up and store it in a corner needing just 40 x 35″ of space, with zero disassembly.
You get eight built-in programs, a one-touch incline function, a reasonable belt size of 20.5 x 58″, and a ton of fitness tests to try out and see how you’re doing.
- Speed limit: 12 MPH
- Weight limit: 350 lbs
- Folds up for easy storage
- Orthopedic belt to maximize comfort
- Good 3.0 HP motor with two rollers
- Interactive heart rate monitor
- Fairly pricey for the functionality
- You need to re-enter preferences like your height and weight each time
The 3G Cardio treadmill is well made, quick to assemble, with an accessible weight limit and a fan to keep you cool – it’s a good piece of fitness equipment, with the range to get fast when you start to improve your endurance.
The Advantage of Choosing a Treadmill with a 12 MPH Max Speed
While you won’t necessarily need the fastest possible treadmill if you’re new to walking or running, it makes sense to invest in the best performance machine available within your budget – and some of these top models are highly affordable.
Realistically, most of us will be fine with a workout at a steady pace of much less than 12 MPH, but you’re limiting your activities if that’s the speediest your machine gets.
Having a treadmill with a nippy 12 MPH capability (equal to running a brisk six-minute mile) doesn’t mean you need to be competing for a record marathon pace, BUT that you can mix up your sessions with sprints and faster intervals.
The ideal is to combine longer, gentler runs for endurance and cardio and quicker bursts for strength and speed, so our advice is to opt for those more diverse treadmills if you’re not keen on repeating the same workout time and again.
Safety Tips for Running on a Treadmill at Home
All of the items we’ve ranked within our top 12 MPH treadmills are simple to assemble – although some of these models get pretty heavy, so it’s best to have someone give you a hand!
We’d share several tips, particularly if it’s your first time exercising on a treadmill and working your way up to those snappy sprints.
- Always step onto the belt before you press start – even a gentle walking pace can throw you off balance if you try to walk on when the treadmill is already moving.
- Use the safety features (they’re there for a reason). The safety belts come with a little clip you’re meant to fasten onto your clothing. It doesn’t have anything to do with supporting you, but if you fall or go off the pace and start moving backward, the key will slide out and automatically pause the workout.
- Focus on solid, steady speeds to start with. It can be tempting to pit yourself against a machine, but these really are very fast – unless you know you can smash out a six-minute mile comfortably, don’t push your limits too soon.
- Make sure you have plenty of room. Clearance around the machine and behind is important, so if you need to make a quick exit, you won’t do yourself (or others) any harm.
If you concentrate on your pace and tread, make sure your laces are double knotted, and avoid using handheld devices when running, you should be fine.
Note that all the Bluetooth and connectivity are designed to keep you entertained, but it’s also there, so you aren’t distracted by your mobile or trying to multitask when heading for a steep incline!
What to Look for in a Treadmill With a High Maximum Speed
We’ve run through some of the pros and cons of each 12 MPH treadmill here, so you’ve probably got a reasonably good idea about the selling points and unique features that make your running workouts more fun.
As a quick checklist, here’s what we’d prioritize.
- A higher maximum speed than you think you’ll need. Treadmills last for years (and many of these top machines have lifetime warranties). It may be a false economy to buy a cheap and cheerful treadmill that won’t go faster – because you’ll need to upgrade in a few months.
- Variable incline levels. Inclines dictate the difficulty of the gradient you’re running or walking on, so you can replicate a hill to push yourself a little harder. Moving on an incline works your calves and quads (hello, sculpted legs!). The more incline settings, the more customizable your treadmill workouts are.
- Onboard monitors. Treadmills come with a variable range of computers, screens, and monitors – and they’re there to help you see your stats for each workout and keep a note of progress. We like to see the calories burned, distance run, time spent exercising, and a heart rate indication to keep each session under control.
- Safety features. The safety clips we’ve mentioned are important – if you find that you’ve overdone it and can’t keep up, it’s easy to get a nasty injury, with the possibility of a severe sprain or break if you fall on your ankles while running at your top speed.
- Storage. Few of us are lucky enough to have a home gym, so a treadmill that folds down means we don’t need to sacrifice floor space or spend ages dragging a heavy machine out of a cupboard when we want to get a sweat on!
- Wheels. Maybe it seems obvious, but if you have a machine that weighs over 100 kg, it’s incredibly tough to try and move it about without wheels! Gas-powered hydraulics are also common in these high-performance treadmills, which activate the folding mechanism.
Ultimately, the right 12 MPH treadmill for you will depend on your budget, weight requirements, and preferences – but if you keep an eye out for these features and functions, you’ll not go wrong.
FAQs – Choosing the Best 12 MPH Treadmill
Below we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about choosing a great 12 MPH treadmill to use at home!
What Speed Should I Aim for as a Treadmill Beginner?
The fact that you’re running or walking on a treadmill in itself is a great start and the first step towards a fitter, healthier lifestyle!
We’d normally say to start at a walking speed, at around three MPH (five KM/h), so you can get a feel for the belt and give yourself plenty of time to warm up.
Never go for a sprint off the bat – it’s a great way to pull a muscle!
Try increasing your pace gradually until you feel that your lungs are working, and try to work on maintaining an even gait for longer each workout. You’ll soon be ready to test those top speeds.
Should I Get a Manual or a Motorized Treadmill?
There aren’t many manual treadmills these days since manufacturers have developed affordable motorized models with all the features we want – onboard monitors, proper speed adjustments, and customizable inclines.
Manual treadmills are lighter and often smaller, so they have a space-saving benefit, but the belt is often stiff and needs maintenance, and you need some app or fitness tracker to monitor each session separately.
Electric treadmills are much heavier, but you’ll get a better workout if you go for a model with wheels, a folding function, and a great warranty.
What Does a Five-Grade Treadmill Setting Mean?
The grades refer to the percentage of the incline – gradients are measured in percentages just like you’d see on a road sign if you were about to drive up or down a very steep hill.
If the grade is a five, you gain five meters in elevation for every 100 meters you run – and the higher the incline, the tougher the hill.
Why Shouldn’t I Hold Onto the Handrails When Running on a Treadmill?
Any exercise you manage to squeeze into a busy day is a win – but if you want maximum bang for your buck, it’s best to let your arms swing freely.
When we hold onto the rails, we’re putting some of the strain onto the treadmill frame and lessening the work our core needs to do to keep us upright and stable when we’re running.
Although you can absolutely hold on if you need to catch your breath or want to stabilize yourself as you move between speed settings, it’s best to let go during your workout to burn more calories, boost your balance, improve your posture and work on a strong gait.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our summary of the best seven 12 MPH treadmills and have plenty of information to make an informed decision about which model is right for you!
Each of these machines is highly specified and comes with a range of benefits, so if you’re stuck on a choice, we’d recommend our number one, particularly because, unusually, the best treadmill we tried was also the most affordable!