Quiet treadmills can provide an excellent solution for individuals who need to work out at home without disturbing neighbors or other members of the family. Some companies make a type of quiet treadmill that is specifically designed to generate less noise from the motor and belt, so choosing one of these will likely be better than just choosing any treadmill. However, it is still often difficult to determine how loud even a "quiet treadmill" will be based on the manufacturer's claims, so it is usually a good idea to test the treadmill out first before buying one.
Having a quiet treadmill can be a necessity for those who live in an apartment building where the neighbors might become annoyed or complain about the noise. A quiet treadmill is also a blessing for anyone who enjoys watching television, listening to music, or doing other activities while working out that would be hard to hear over the noise of a regular treadmill. One of the best ways to determine which treadmill is suitably quiet is to simply test it out in the situation in which it will be used most often. For example, bring a music player to the store and ask a salesperson if it would be okay to jog for a couple of minutes on each treadmill model to test out whether the music is audible over the treadmill noise. Alternatively, bring a friend along who can walk some distance away and report how loud the treadmill is at various distances.
Some people find that magnetic treadmills are a better choice than standard treadmills. A regular treadmill with a motor, even if it is made to be quieter than other comparable treadmills, will still likely be noticeably louder than a magnetic one. Individuals who have never owned a magnetic treadmill or used one extensively should find an opportunity to try one out for a full workout to determine whether this is a viable option, because the magnetic treadmill experience is much different than that of a regular treadmill and may not be appealing to some people.
The sound of the motor is not the only noise that can be potentially bothersome during a treadmill workout. The pounding footsteps, especially from exercisers who run instead of walk, can be even louder than the steady drone of the motor. Choosing a more padded belt, a treadmill with a springier platform, and appropriate running shoes can help somewhat with reducing this noise. It may also help to place the treadmill in a room with carpeting and plenty of plush furniture to dull the noise further and to reduce or eliminate any resonating echo that could become bothersome.