Proper Ceiling Heights For Treadmills

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Last Updated: July 10, 2023

I’m sure you know that it’s important to have enough space for a treadmill in your home. A significant factor that goes into determining if you have enough space, is your ceiling height. You won’t be able to use your treadmill if you can’t walk and run without hitting your head on the ceiling.

Most treadmills also have an incline function which raises the front of the deck and thus requires higher ceilings to use. So, what is a proper ceiling height for a treadmill? Well, it depends on you and the treadmill. Below I’ll cover our general recommendations, as well as more specific proper ceiling heights.

Proper Ceiling Height For Treadmills

Our General Guidelines

In general, we recommend at least an 8-foot high ceiling. This height should work for most treadmills and users. There are some instances where a higher ceiling might be required. There are also factors that can let you get away with using your treadmill under a lower ceiling, too.

Factors To Consider For A Proper Ceiling Height For Your Treadmill

If you’re unsure if your ceiling is high enough for your treadmill, then it’s important to do some measuring. First off, how tall are you and the other users who will be using the treadmill? Taller users require more head clearance than shorter users. It’s important to know the heights of everyone using the treadmill, especially the height of the tallest user, in order to be sure your ceiling is high enough to use the treadmill. Now, from their height add another inch to take their shoes into account.

Once you know the heights of the users, next you’ll need to determine the step-up height on the treadmill. Unfortunately, this sometimes isn’t included on the manufacturer’s website, that’s why we try to be sure to include it in our reviews here at Treadmill Review Guru. Some treadmills have pretty low profiles, like ones from Sole. These treadmills have around an 8” step-up height, while others have higher deck heights, like the X32i Incline Trainer from NordicTrack. This treadmill has a 15” step-up height.

We measure the deck’s height when the treadmill is at a flat 0% grade. We then measure from the floor to the top of the deck. I like to measure to the top of one of the side rails since these are higher than the belt.

Lastly, does the treadmill have an incline feature? If so, how high does it incline? If you want to be able to use the treadmill at its full incline, then we suggest taking this into consideration as well. Most treadmills incline to about 10-15%. Some incline higher though like the Incline Trainers from NordicTrack. They incline up to 40% which is the highest incline level we’ve seen on a treadmill.

When measured from the floor to the top of the front of the deck when it’s fully inclined, it measures at about 34” high! Technically, you could skip measuring the treadmill at a flat grade and just measure it when it’s fully inclined, too. Since the height of the deck when it’s fully inclined is often not listed on the manufacturer’s website, you can estimate another 5-7” on top of the step-up height for most treadmills with a 10-15% grade. It’s also a good idea to plan for an extra bit of head clearance to account for your movement when walking and running. For this, add an extra 6” – 12”. If you plan to do a lot of running and maybe even movements like skipping, then I would factor closer to 12”.

Calculating The Proper Ceiling Height

Now that you have the height of the tallest user plus another inch, the step-up height, and the maximum incline level, you’re ready to figure out how high your ceiling should be. So, let’s say you’re 6”1” with running shoes on, and your treadmill has a 10” step-up height and a 15% incline. First, you’ll convert your height to inches, which for this height is 73”. Then you’ll add these all together. 73” + 10” + 7” = 90”. Then let’s say you want to do a lot of running, so we’ll add 12” which = 102”. This converted to feet is 8.5 ft.

So, there you have it, 8.5 ft would be the minimum ceiling height needed. Having a proper ceiling height is just as important as having enough floor space for your treadmill. Hopefully, this helps you determine if you have a high enough ceiling for your treadmill. We want you to be able to use your treadmill comfortably and safely. You can check back with us for information related to treadmills as well as other home fitness equipment, and if you’re in the market for a new treadmill check out our best treadmills list.