We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

by Eleanor
0 comment

These sturdy and compact picks will help you meet your step count goals

If your job requires a lot of time sitting at a desk, there’s a good chance you have difficulty reaching your daily step goal. Fortunately, using a walking pad is an easy way to increase your movement during a workday. It can also help with weight loss efforts, since it bumps up your daily activity level and calorie burn. However, it should still be accompanied by physical exertion ranging from moderate to intense. Quieter and more compact than fitness treadmills, the best walking pads should still deliver similar sturdiness and ease of use to let you walk confidently and safely.

To find the best walking pads and under-desk treadmills on the market, we consulted an athletic trainer and personal trainer on which key features to look for. We then tested ten of the most popular picks at home over the span of four weeks, by completing a minimum of four walks per week. When creating our final list of recommendations, we gave the assembly procedure some thought, ease of use, foldability, special features, comfort, and overall value. A certified personal trainer from our Review Board also assessed this article for accuracy.

Best Overall

Egofit Walker Pro-M1 Treadmill

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Setup  5/5
  • Ease of Use 7/5
  • Foldability 5/5
  • Features 5/5
  • Value 9/5

Pros

  • Compact and easy to use
  • 5% incline
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • No handrail
  • Lower maximum speed

Key Specs:

Dimensions: 21.9 x 38.4 x 6.9 inches Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 pounds | Speed Range: 0.5 to 3.1 MPH Incline Range: 0% and 5% (fixed) Product Weight: 48.5 pounds | Remote Control: Yes | Wheels: Yes | Our Overall Rating: 4.9/5

Who It’s For

Great for walking while taking calls and when working from a standing desk.

Why We Love It

Egofit’s Walker Pro-M1 Under Desk Treadmill’s compact design, quiet and easy operation, and added characteristics make choosing it simple for our best overall spot. It comes pre-assembled and ready to use right out of the box. When testing, we found the treadmill to be extremely quiet—we’ve even been able to take work calls while getting our steps in. We are also appreciative of the LCD panel lets us track our steps, distance, speed, time, and calories burned. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

Unlike other models, the Walker Pro-M1 has a 5% incline option, which helps crank up the calorie burn during your walking workouts. Remember that this is a fixed (non-adjustable) incline, so you can only set the incline to zero percent (i.e., flat) or 5%—nothing in between. We also appreciate that the treadmill’s wheels allow us to easily move it to our preferred storage spot once the workout’s over.

Potential Flaws

  • With a maximum speed of 3.1 miles per hour, you won’t be able to walk as fast on this option compared to others on our list.
  • The treadmill doesn’t have handrails, so it may not be the best option for those with balance issues who need something to hold onto while they walk.

Best Walking Pad

WalkingPad C2 Folding Treadmill

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Setup 5/5
  • Ease of Use 5/5
  • Foldability 4.5/5
  • Features 4.2/5
  • Value 5/5

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Quiet operation
  • Foldable, compact design

Cons

  • May be too short for taller users
  • No handrail

Key Specs:

Dimensions: 20.4 x 56.9 x 4.9 inches Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 pounds | Speed Range: 0.5 to 3.72 MPH Incline Range: None Product Weight: 55 pounds | Remote Control: Yes | Wheels: Yes | Our Overall Rating: 4.6/5

Who It’s For

Best for shorter users who have limited storage space.

Why We Love It

For a basic, space-saving walking pad that’s easy to use, it’s tough to beat WalkingPad’s C2 Foldable Walking Treadmill. Setting up the treadmill is simple and straightforward since it comes pre-assembled—we just had to unfold it and plug it in to get started. The small footprint and foldable treadmill design make this a solid pick for those with limited space. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

We have fast access to adjust the treadmill’s speed using the remote, and the LCD monitor lets us view our steps, speed, time, and distance in real time from the device. The four-layer running belt allows for good shock absorption and noise reduction. Plus, we love that when finished, we can simply fold it in half and store it under a desk, couch, or bed. Two rollers on the bottom make maneuvering it from one spot to another easy.

Potential Flaws

  • We feel this treadmill would be more stable and safe to use if it had a handrail.
  • The walking surface felt a bit narrow to us and may not be comfortable for those with large feet or longer legs.

Most Affordable

GOPLUS Under Desk Treadmill

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Setup 5/5
  • Ease of Use 5/5
  • Foldability 5/5
  • Features 3/5
  • Value 8/5

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Good for beginners
  • Comfortable and stable

Cons

  • No handrail
  • Emits humming sound

Key Specs:

Dimensions: 23.5 x 51.5 x 6 inches | Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 pounds | Speed Range: 0.5 to 4 MPH | Incline Range: None | Product Weight: 55.5 pounds | Remote Control: Yes | Wheels: Yes | Our Overall Rating: 4.6/5

Who It’s For

Best for users looking for a budget-friendly option and who don’t mind a little noise.

Why We Love It

The GOPLUS Under Desk Treadmill is the most budget-friendly model we tested, making it a great option for those who just want a basic walking pad for getting their daily steps in. It’s easy to set up and use, and while it’s not feature-packed, it includes a remote and an LED screen that displays speed, distance, time, and calories burned. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

The treadmill comes fully assembled, thus all we had to do was open it to get going, attach the power cord, and plug it into the wall. Because of the attached remote, it’s extremely easy to turn on the treadmill and adjust the speed with just a click of a button.

Potential Flaws

  • We noticed a humming sound while using the treadmill, which could distract some, especially during work calls.
  • A folding handlebar would make the treadmill more stable during use.

Best for Petite Users

Sunny Health & Fitness Under Desk Treadmill

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Setup 4.2/5
  • Ease of Use 4.1/5
  • Foldability 4.5/5
  • Features 4/5
  • Value 4.5/5

Pros

  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Display screen with stats
  • Small footprint

Cons

  • May be too short for taller users
  • No handrail

Key Specs:

Dimensions: 21.5 x 50 x 6.5 inches Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 pounds | Speed Range: 0.5 to 3.75 MPH | Incline Range: None | Product Weight: 55 pounds | Remote Control: Yes | Wheels: Yes | Our Overall Rating: 4.4/5

Who It’s For

Best for shorter users with a small stride length.

Why We Love It

Sunny Health & Fitness’s Under Desk Treadmill Workstation is another affordable option that’s comfortable and easy to use. It’s a bit shorter than some of the other ones we tested, but it’s a great option for petite users who want a treadmill with a small footprint. The machine comes pre-assembled—all we needed to do after unboxing it was use the included lubricant on the belt and plug it in. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

During testing, the treadmill felt sturdy and fairly quiet. The display screen is located. to be appealing lets us easily track our speed, steps, distance, calories burned, and time elapsed. With wheels on the bottom, it’s easy to move and store away once we’re finished.

Potential Flaws

  • Like some other options on our list, this one also doesn’t have handrails, so it may not be suited to those who need help balancing while walking.
  • The walking surface is on the shorter side, so taller users may have difficulty walking on it comfortably.

Best Foldable

WalkingPad P1 Foldable Walking Treadmill

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Setup  5/5
  • Ease of Use 4.5/5
  • Foldability 5/5
  • Features 3/5
  • Value 4/5

Pros

  • Convenient foldable design
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Included remote displays stats

Cons

  • Not compatible with third-party apps
  • Shakes a bit when changing speeds

Key Specs:

Dimensions: 21.5 x 56.4 x 5 inches | Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 pounds | Speed Range: 0.5 to 3.75 MPH | Incline Range: None | Product Weight: 62 pounds | Remote Control: Yes | Wheels: Yes | Our Overall Rating: 4.3/5

Who It’s For

Best for users looking for a no-frills, compact walking pad to increase their step count.

Why We Love It

WalkingPad’s P1 Foldable Walking Treadmill is super easy to set up and use, but the folding design is what makes it truly stand out from the rest. When folded, its footprint is only 32.5 x 21.5 inches, making it easy to store under a desk or tuck away in another part of the room. At 62 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than some others we tested, but the foldable design and wheels on the bottom make it easy to move.

We also like that stats—including speed, steps, and distance—are displayed on the remote rather than on the treadmill’s display, which keeps us from craning our necks to see the data. We love that this pick is quiet and low-profile, allowing us to take work calls without distraction. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

Potential Flaws

  • During testing, we noticed that the belt jerked a little when we changed the treadmill’s speed, so it’s essential to steady yourself before reducing or increasing it.
  • The treadmill isn’t compatible with third-party apps, so you won’t be able to track your stats via fitness apps like Apple Health.

Best for Small Spaces

WalkingPad A1 Pro Foldable Under Desk Treadmill

Our Ratings

  • Ease of Setup 5/5
  • Ease of Use 5/5
  • Foldability 5/5
  • Features 5/5
  • Value 3.8/5

Pros

  • Fits easily under furniture (beds, desks, etc.)
  • Super quiet
  • Easy on the knees

Cons

  • Machine is heavy
  • Bluetooth connectivity is spotty

Key Specs:

Dimensions: 21.5 x 56.5 x 6.5 inches Maximum Weight Capacity: 230 or 300 pounds | Speed Range: 0.5 to 3.72 MPH | Incline Range: Not listed | Product Weight: 61.73 pounds | Remote Control: Yes | Wheels: Yes | Our Overall Rating: 4.8/5

Who It’s For

Best for those with limited storage space.

Why We Love It

When your living space is smaller, choosing a walking pad that folds and fits under beds, dressers, or desks is imperative for efficient use of space. We love WalkingPad’s A1 Pro Foldable Under Desk Treadmill because of its unique design that folds over 180 degrees down to a thickness of only 4.7 inches and fits readily under furniture or in narrow spaces. Thanks to the wheels, it’s also super easy to transport.

We found this walking pad very easy to set up: After unboxing, we downloaded the app, registered our information, and were ready to go within five minutes. The pad is comfortable to walk on, and we love that it uses an algorithm to help pick a speed that suits your stride—and when we wanted to select our own speed manually, we were also able to do so quickly and efficiently thanks to the handy remote. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

Potential Flaws

  • While this machine folds up compactly, it’s pretty heavy (over 60 pounds), making it difficult to move.
  • We struggled to automatically connect our iPhone to the treadmill via Bluetooth, but we were able to connect to it manually through the accompanying app.

Best Portable

LifePro PacerMini Pro Treadmill

Our Ratings

Ease of Setup 5/5

Ease of Use 5/5

Foldability 5/5

Features 4/5

Value 5/5

Pros

Weighs less than other options

Adjustable, foldable handlebar

Very quiet

Cons

Incline setting is fixed

Belt length is shorter than other options

Key Specs:

Dimensions: 25 x 32.7 x 7 inches Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 pounds | Speed Range: 0.5 to 3.0 MPH | Incline Range: 0% and 7% (fixed) | Product Weight: 40 pounds | Remote Control: Yes | Wheels: Yes | Our Overall Rating: 4.8/5

Who It’s For

Best for those who need to move their under-desk treadmill frequently.

Why We Love It

The small size and 40-pound weight of Lifepro’s PacerMini Portable Treadmill make it an easy choice for our best portable pick. It’s lighter than the other walking pads we tested and has built-in wheels for easy moving. It’s only 7 inches high when the handlebar is folded down, so it’s easy to slide under a couch or desk when not in use. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

It took less than five minutes to set up when it arrived, and the instruction manual was easy to understand. The treadmill tracks time, speed, calories, and steps. You can use it completely flat, or you can crank it up to a 7% incline for more of a challenge. We found the remote easy to use, and we like that the height-adjustable handlebar folds down for storage.

Potential Flaws

If you want to add an incline to your walk, you can only choose the fixed 7% incline setting because no other incline options are available. The belt length is relatively short, so it may not work for taller people or those with a longer stride. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

Walking Pads We Also Tested

In total, we tested ten walking pads and under-desk treadmills, but only seven made it on our final list of recommendations. Here are some notable mentions that we didn’t love enough to include on our list of top picks:

  • WalkingPad’s C1 Lightest Foldable Walking Machine is easy to set up, comfortable, and quiet. We also love that it’s compatible with the Apple Health app. However, we were disappointed by the flimsiness of some of the materials. After a few weeks of use, the plastic piece holding the plug in place broke off, making it impossible to plug the treadmill in for use.
  • Similar to other walking pads, WalkingPad’s X21 Double-Fold Treadmill (High-End Version) can be set up through an app. However, the app was a little glitchy during our testing period, which made it more difficult to use. We also found it to be a bit loud and not very sturdy.
  • MERACH’s T05 Smart Walking Treadmill has a max speed of 6 miles per hour, but we did not feel comfortable or safe using the faster speeds when testing the treadmill. We do, however, like that it’s foldable for storage and that the belt can only operate if the safety stop device has been clipped in place.

Where We Stand

After testing ten walking pads, Egofit’s Walker Pro M1 Treadmill is the clear winner, thanks to its compact designquiet operation, and 5% incline option. We continue to test walking pads and under-desk treadmills at home and will update our recommendations if we notice any significant changes we haven’t already noted. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

What to Look for in Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills

  • Footprint:Consider your space constraints when choosing a walking pad since some options are more compact and portable than others. Check all the dimensions carefully to be sure the treadmill will fit comfortably wherever you plan to use and store it.
  • Noise:You’ll likely want a walking pad that’s quiet enough not to disturb or distract your housemates or colleagues. Our experts recommend choosing a treadmill that has a quiet belt, and that can be activated and adjusted without beeping. Even if you work by yourself in a home office, you’ll want a quiet machine if you plan to take calls while walking.
  • Storage:No matter where you use your walking pad, you’ll want one that’s easy to store when not in use. Some models, like WalkingPad’s P1 Foldable Walking Treadmill, fold up to fit under your desk; most have wheels, making them easy to move across the room and tuck away. Be sure to also check the height measurement of the treadmill when folded if you plan to store it under furniture with low clearance (such as a couch).
  • Stability and Max Weight Capacity: Walking pads and under-desk treadmills aren’t as heavy-duty as fitness treadmills and usually have a lower weight capacity. However, some models, likeWalkingPad ‘s A1 Pro Foldable Under Desk Treadmill, are constructed to accommodate more weight than others. For more stability, some models have handrails that fold down. Consider the weight range of those in your household who might use the treadmill, and look for one that’s well-constructed and durable enough to support all users.
  • Additional Features:Certain walking pads include additional functionality, like display screens that show metrics such as time, distance, and steps. Many models come with a remote control that allows you to change the speed or pause the belt with the touch of a button. The screen on some options, like WalkingPad’s P1 Foldable Treadmill, is built into the remote, allowing you to track your stats without looking down at the treadmill’s display. While most treadmills can be used with a proprietary app, others are compatible with third-party apps. You may pay a little more for features like this, but we think it’s worth the investment if it will motivate you to use your walking pad more consistently.

How We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills

To find the best walking pads and under-desk treadmills, we tested ten popular options over a four-week period, completing at least four walks per treadmill each week. When testing walking pads, we evaluate each option for these six key features:

  • Ease of Setup:When the walking pads first arrive, we note if they come fully assembled and, if not, how long it takes to put them together before we can start using them. We connect each machine to its proprietary app, if there is one, and note any difficulties with that process.
  • Ease of Use:We do work tasks like typing or taking calls during each test walk. We pay attention to how stable the walking pad feels and assess whether the sound is distracting or disruptive. If a remote control is included, we note how easy it is to use and which functions it controls.
  • Foldability:If the walking pads fold, we fold and unfold them to note the ease or difficulty of that process. We also assess the walking pad’s size and portability by moving it and storing it away when not in use.
  • Special Features:During testing, we note if the walking pads have special features that add to their functionality, like a display screen on the remote or collapsible handrails.
  • Comfort:While we use the walking pads, we assess whether the belt is wide and long enough for a comfortable stride while also absorbing shock and feeling stable (rather than shaky).
  • Value:To rate the overall value of each walking pad and under-desk treadmill, we put it through our full testing and evaluation process before looking at the price. Walking pads that receive a high value score are generally priced less than what we would consider paying based on our experience with the product. We Tested the Best Walking Pads and Under-Desk Treadmills—These 7 Are Worth It

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a walking pad worth it?

A walking pad won’t have the same speed or incline functionality as a traditional treadmill, so walking while working won’t replace a heart-pumping sweat session at the gym. However, it can definitely help you blast some more calories, boost your daily step count, and maybe even help push through morning fatigue or afternoon slumps at work. It can also encourage more daily physical activity—one way to extend your healthy years.

Which is better: an under-desk treadmill or an under-desk bike?

Under-desk treadmills and under-desk bikes are both easy ways for those with sedentary lifestyles to add more activity to their day. The best one for you depends on your preferences, space limitations, and budget. Under-desk bikes tend to be quieter than treadmills, but some users find it harder to concentrate on tasks while pedaling. But if you have limited space, some bike models are inexpensive and very easy to move and store when not in use.

How long should you use a walking pad for?

Walking is a healthy activity you can do every day, so it’s safe to use your walking pad daily. However, consider your current fitness level: If you’re not used to walking long distances, our experts recommend limiting yourself to an hour or two at first.

A good strategy for beginners is to start out with 20 minutes at the start of your workday, 20 minutes following lunch, and then another 15 minutes in the mid-afternoon. The health benefits of a regular walking schedule include reduced risk of hypertension.

Can you use walking pads on carpet?

Using a walking pad on a low-pile carpet is fine, but you should avoid putting it on a high-pile or plush carpet, as it may overheat. You can put a treadmill mat underneath the machine to prevent that from happening and protect the carpet.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing health and fitness content and product recommendations. As a certified running coach, personal trainer, and avid runner, she has tested and reviewed her fair share of treadmills and knows what to look for to get the best bang for your buck.

 

 

You may also like