If you’re like me, it seems really hard to stay fit when you’re stuck working from home all day long. While the acceptance of working at home might be one of the biggest positives that came out of the COVID crisis, it’s also leading to a pretty real fitness crisis, as people lose the physical activities that they used to do at the office or during their commute. The “pandemic weight gain” is a real thing.
Well, don’t worry. There’s a way around it.
If you get yourself a standing desk (rather than a sit down one) then you can get yourself a special treadmill that you can put in place underneath it that can allow you to walk, burn calories and get some exercise – all while never leaving your work!
There’s actually quite a lot of under desk treadmills that are out on the market the moment. So many that we definitely don’t blame you for looking for a little guidance on which one to buy. It’s important to do your homework when you ‘re thinking of parting with this much money.
We’ve been going through them and after much deliberation, we’ve managed to handpick our top 5 under desk treadmills to show you.
And after that we’ve got another handy section where we go through everything you might want to think about before you buy.
But, before we get into our top 5 review, we wanted to let you know about a new player that we just had the opportunity to review – and loved. It’s our new favorite, due to its affordable price, quiet ride, ease of storage and amazing design.
Our new, top pick for a treadmill that you can put under your desk is the Mobvoi treadmill. It’s designed and built by a technology company, not a fitness brand – and the innovation shows. Plus, it’s available for just $450, which is at the low end of the price range for the devices that we like. You can read our full review of the Mobvio treadmill here, or you can continue on to our list of the top 5 devices we knew about before we learned about the Mobvio.
Take a look at our new favorite:
And here is a photo of me taking it out of the box – note how small it is, which is perfect for putting under a desk where you won’t be reaching high speeds.
#1 Under Desk Treadmill Recommendation After Several Months of Use
After a number of months of use – and quite a few miles – we are going to recommend the Mobvoi as the best treadmill to put under your desk. It’s small, easy to use, and has a very quiet belt that won’t disturb you during conference/Zoom calls. (Note that there IS a loud noise when you turn it or or adjust the speed – a beep – so don’t assume you’ll be dynamically adjust the speed while running a Zoom call!)
As you can see from the photo on the right, it’s holding up pretty well after several months of use!
The price was also right, at $450. Much cheaper than many of the more feature-rich treadmills that we review in this article.
Get the Mobvoi treadmill directly from the manufacturer!
Top 5 Best Under Desk Treadmills
If you’re looking for an under desk treadmill, but haven’t got yourself kitted out with a standing desk, then why not get both together. This treadmill actually comes with a large work desk attached.
This heavy duty workspace is large enough to accommodate most sizes of laptop, and there are two cup holders either side. Plus an integrated tablet holder, so you can stream a movie while you walk or binge watch a good series.
It’s a great treadmill besides all that. You can use it to walk, jog or run, thanks to its speed range which goes up to 7.5 miles per hour.
There are 12 preset workout programs to choose from and 3 countdown modes. There are hand pulse grip sensors on the side handle bars, and your heart rate, along with all your other stats is displayed on the very large LCD display. You get data on your run time, distance, speed, calories burned and more.
It includes bluetooth speakers, so you don’t have to worry about getting tangled up with wires to listen to your favorite music.
And when you don’t want to be noisy, it’s quite quiet at 60 decibels, which is the same noise level as a conversation.
The large, comfortable running belt uses innovative cushioning technology, and is designed to absorb shock. It’s also non slip, which is a great safety feature.
When you want to pack it away out of sight, the desk arms fold down, and there are castors in place to allow you to roll it away.
Although this treadmill hasn’t had quite as many customer reviews as the other devices in our top 5 picks, the customer feedback so far has been really positive, giving it an average Amazon rating of 4 and a half stars out of a possible 5.
- Comes with a desk included!
- Monitors your heart rate
- Bluetooth speakers
- This is the most expensive model in our top 5 picks
- Not so many customer reviews on the Amazon page
This is a great little 2 in 1 treadmill. You can either use it like a regular treadmill or you can fold the arms down and slide it under your desk, so you can even work out while you’re working.
This is all made possible thanks to the remote control – you’re not expected to jump off and crouch to stop the machine, lol. You can speed up, slow down or stop, all without having to clamber around for buttons.
You can use it for either walking, running or jogging, since it goes to speeds of 7.5 miles per hour. There are 2 smart modes, one for walking while at your workspace, and the other for when you want to slide it away and go for a good run.
There 12 built in preprogrammed working out plans you could take advantage of if you wanted to.
We love that it has a phone holder and bluetooth speakers, nothing like a good beat to get you moving.
And although the LED display looks rather small when you have it in place, there’s a lot of different stats you can bring up on it, including speed, time, distance, number of steps and calories burned.
The running belt itself is roomy, and is composed of 7 layers which makes for great cushioning. It’s also non slip (thank goodness) and is shock absorbing too.
Despite its powerful 2.25 horsepower motor, it runs really quietly, at less than 60 decibels.
When you’re not using it, it folds up so small you could even stash it away under the sofa – just 4.3 inches high!
The customer feedback is very impressive. After about 200 individual customer ratings the average Amazon customer rating still comes out 4 and a half stars out of 5.
Speaking of Amazon, they are known to occasionally have deals on this treadmill.
- Phone holder
- Bluetooth speakers
- Needs regular lubricating
- Doesn’t record your pulse or heart rate
- Doesn’t accommodate people over 15 and half stone
This is a great little treadmill to walk on while at your standing desk!
And when you’re done working, you can slide it away, pull up the handrail, slide your phone or tablet into the holder, and go for a run. You can even set the treadmill up to play your favorite music through the bluetooth speakers.
While in under the desk mode, you can enjoy a more laid back walking mode, but when the handrail is raised you put the machine into fitness mode and go to speeds of up to 7.5 miles per hour. Perfect for fat burning. You can adjust the speed even when in this mode, thanks to the remote control.
The running belt is a comfortable size whether you’re walking or sprinting. It’s made up of 7 layers, which provides great cushioning and shock absorption, looking after your joints as you exercise.
There are a dozen different exercise training programs already built in. All without worrying about downloading any apps or paying any subscription fees.
The digital LED display lets you keep track of all your stats, whether it’s your run time, speed, distance, steps or approximate calories burned.
It doesn’t make too much noise, even when at top speed. And when folded away it takes up barely any space at all, measuring just 4.3 inches in height. And the castors make it easy to maneuver when you need to.
We love that it arrives already fully assembled out the box.
Plus there’s a 30 day money back guarantee, and you get 2 years free accessories replacement.
- Built-in Bluetooth Speaker
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Doesn’t measure your heart rate
- Doesn’t accommodate people over 15 and half stone
This is another great 2 in 1 treadmill. You can use it like a regular treadmill, or you can fold the handrail down and slide it under your standing desk to burn some extra calories, all while continuing to take all your work-from-home Zoom calls.
In the under-the-desk mode, you can walk up to 4 miles per hour, but when you stand the handrail back up and switch modes, the maximum speed goes up to 7.5 miles per hour.
You can make any speed or mode adjustments via the accompanying remote control. So convenient.
The running belt is a nice size, plus it’s also non slip and shock absorbing. It’s 5 layers provide some nice cushioning for your joints as you run/walk.
There are 12 preset training modes you can use if you like, and all your stats can be brought up on the LCD screen, such as time, speed, distance, steps, and approximate calories burned.
When the handrail is up, there’s a special place to stash your phone or tablet to keep you entertained as you work out.
It runs at less than 60 decibels, which is quite quiet considering it’s got a 2.25 horsepower motor.
- Speeds of up to 7.5 mph
- 12 preset training modes
- Phone/tablet holder
- No integrated speakers
- Doesn’t measure your heart rate
- Doesn’t accommodate people over 15 and half stone
If you don’t have too big a budget, then this option is hands down the one that offers the best value for money.
In addition to using it like you would a regular treadmill, you can also fold the handrail down and slide it under a standing desk to allow you to workout as you work.
It comes with a remote control, so you can change speed or stop any time you like without having to stoop.
There’s a spacious running belt, and an LED screen to show you a variety of stats, including time, distance, speed and approximate calories burned.
It’s a somewhat quiet machine, but rather than that being due to top technology, it seems to because it’s motor isn’t built to go too fast. It’s maximum speed is 4 miles per hour, which is a slow jog.
So it’s definitely designed more for walking than for running. It may still suit some people. You could do a regular long power walk on it if you want to.
So, in sum it has all basics, but none of the frills. An economic choice.
- Very affordable
- Very compact
- Shows your stats
- Remote control
- No built in speakers or phone holder
- Only goes up to 4 miles per hour
- Not many customer reviews around online
- Doesn’t measure your heart rate
- Doesn’t accommodate people over 15 and half stoneoption
Best Under Desk Treadmills Buying Guide
As promised here is your buying guide, which goes through everything you might want to think about before you buy, and gets you thinking about what exactly you’re looking for in your under the desk treadmill.
Do you want the desk included?
The large majority of the treadmills that are designed to be used under your work desk are the 2 in 1 treadmills that can either be used like a traditional treadmill or you can fold the handrail down and slide the treadmill under what is usually referred to as a standing desk.
4 out of the 5 under the desk treadmills in our top 5 picks are of this variety.
However occasionally you find a treadmill that instead has a desk area built into the handrail, like with our number 1 pick, the FUNMILY Folding Electric Treadmill with Large Desk. Although it’s pretty heavy duty and looks quite bulky, it’s actually very small when folded away, and is a great treadmill besides.
Entertainment as you exercise
If you’re quite the fitness fan, you might be interested in using your under the desk treadmill when you’re not working. Many of the treadmills in our top 5 picks have somewhere for you to stash your phone or tablet as you run, so you can watch a movie or listen to some motivating music.
And once you’ve decided on your preferred entertainment, you might want to think about whether you want integrated speakers, like our number 1 pick, the FUNMILY Folding Electric Treadmill with Large Desk, or our number 2 pick, the FUNMILY 2 in 1 Under Desk Folding Treadmill, or our number 3 pick, the HIROLLOP 2 in 1 Folding.
If you want to burn some fat, then cardio exercise is the way to go. You need to get your heart rate up. The best way to strategically plan and carry out your cardio is by knowing your heart rate.
If you want an under the desk treadmill that can monitor your heart rate for you as you exercise, then we can recommend our number 1 pick the FUNMILY Folding Electric Treadmill with Large Desk.
Alternatively, you can keep track of your heart rate with a specially designed fitness watch, or with a heart rate monitor that you wear on your chest.
Do you want your treadmill for walking, jogging or running? Or a combination?
Our number 1, 2, 3, and 4 picks are built for all three of these exercises, but you’re unlikely to want to run while you’re at working, so you might be content with just walking.
And if this is the case, then the most affordable of our top 5 picks, is the Youen Folding Under Desk Treadmill, which is quite the bargain.
Under desk treadmills can really vary in price. Some cost $1000, at the high end, while at the other end of the spectrum, you can get an under desk treadmill for just over $200.
However, a lot of the cheaper under desk treadmills have all of the features that the $1000 ones have. In the world of such treadmills, more expensive doesn’t always mean better.
One of the things that we took into consideration for our top 5 picks was value for money. And it is for that reason that all 5 of the treadmills have all the top features you could want, at prices between $200 and $500.
Maximum Weight Capacity
If you’re buying a treadmill because you’re overweight, then you will need to ensure that the machine is built for your particular weight bracket.
Our number 1 pick, the FUNMILY Folding Electric Treadmill with Large Desk, can handle people of weights up to 18.9 stone, while the remainder of our top 5 can take a maximum weight of about 15.5 stone.
If you’re not making use of the machine’s speakers, then you may decide you’d like the machine to be quiet, so as not to disturb anyone.
If you go for a walking treadmill rather than a running one, then these types of machines will run quietly anyway, because they don’t use as powerful a motor.
If however you go for a running machine, then you will have to look for one with a quiet motor.
All of the machines in our top 5 picks are fairly quiet, with noise levels of about 60 decibels most at maximum speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How narrow does a treadmill have to be to fit under a standard standing desk?
While most standing desks have an adjustable height, this cannot be said for the length. You will need to look at your treadmill, knowing exactly how much room you have underneath your standing desk for your under the desk treadmill.
The dimensions of all of the treadmills in our top 5 picks can all be found on the accompanying Amazon page.
What if I don’t already have a standing desk?
The good news is that you can buy an under the desk treadmill with a desk already attached. If this sounds good to you, please check out our number 1 pick, the FUNMILY Folding Electric Treadmill with Large Desk.
Alternatively, though you could buy yourself a standing desk converter, which is a contraption that sits on a regular desk, and allows you to elevate your workstation so you can work while standing (or walking once you’ve bought your treadmill).
Are Desk Treadmills Loud?
With over 850,000 office workers throughout the United States, standing at work and using standing desks have become ever more popular. With an increase in obesity and joint pains, more and more workers try to stay healthier by standing up during their working hours instead of being hunched over their desks in an uncomfortable position.
One form of desk that has become popular in recent years is the treadmill desk. Using this is a great way of staying active and burning calories while you work. Before people purchase these desks, the main question is usually “how loud are they?” Well, a desk treadmill is not nearly as noisy as a regular, bulky treadmill or different cardio machines you see and use in gyms.
Overall, desk treadmill machines are quiet. They were designed for office environments with nearby office workers firmly in the mind of the creators. The last thing you want to do is bother your colleagues with the loud noise of a treadmill but these desk versions are not nearly as big or bulky as gym treadmills.
Some models, such as the LifeSpan Desk Treadmill reach sounds of up to 35 decibels. This is simply a whisper or at the level of white noise. Most of the noise from the treadmill will be generated by the type of shoes you wear but tennis shoes are often the quietest type to use.
Is it hard to type on a treadmill desk?
Many IT workers, engineers, and authors utilize treadmill desks when working. Some writers are put off the idea of using these treadmills due to reports of slower typing speeds and accuracy. Some studies have even supported such claims. However, some of these studies only saw the treadmills being used for a short amount of time. Many users believe it takes more than four hours to become accustomed to treadmill desking and typing.
WorkWhileWalking conducted an experiment where several employees took an online test to measure how many words they could type per minute. These tests were taken while standing still, walking at a particular, comfortable speed, and once at a much faster rate. This mini-study found that the worker’s speed and productivity decreased but only slightly.
While more studies need to be undertaken, writing on a treadmill desk isn’t much different from sitting at a desk. However, the study did find that the walking testers tended to write about 5% slower than when standing still but with no decrease in their accuracy. It takes time to master the art of using a treadmill desk and writing at the same time and it will be hard at first. But within a day or so, it should become more comfortable and easier to construct articles or texts on.
Can you run on a desk treadmill?
Desk treadmills and running treadmills you find in the gym are not the same. Therefore, they can not be used for the same purposes. Desk treadmills are not built for you to run on and sweat your day away when in the office or working from home.
To not build up some kind of sweat, the recommended speed is around 2mph. At this speed, you can do almost all activities without exerting too much effort or finding it hard.
While desk treadmills are designed to keep you active, get fit, and burn calories, they are certainly not for those of you looking for extreme fitness training. The fastest desk treadmills rarely go above 4 mph. When compared to a regular gym exercise treadmill, this is about three times slower.
Walking is the intended pace of these treadmills so you can still comfortably write and work. If you feel like having a light cardio workout, you can increase the speed with some models.