If you want to burn calories, fast, with a piece of equipment that doesn’t take up too much space and can be used wherever you are, then a mini stepper or stair climber may be the thing for you.
Our Top Pick
Quick and easy to use, and providing a low impact alternative to running or exercise classes, these little pieces of kit can help you to get great results, even though they are small enough to fit in your bag.
In this review, I have had a look at some of the best steppers on the market so that you don’t have to, giving you an overview of each piece of equipment and helping you to make a decision on what type of mini stepper you want to buy.
The only thing left to do now is read on and see which one is right for you.
Top Rated Steppers Reviewed
Designed to replicate the same movements of rock climbing, the Maxiclimber claims to give you an intense full-body workout, working all muscles in the body including the legs, arms, and abs.
The Maxiclimber uses a combination of resistance (your own body weight) and aerobic workouts and is a low impact piece of kit meaning you won’t feel excess pressure on your joints like you would if you were running or doing a normal exercise class.
The focus of the MaxiClimber is to give the user a great full-body workout that helps them to tone their muscles and blast away stubborn fat in as little time as possible, even claiming that you will burn more calories from the same amount of time than you would if you were to use a bike or treadmill.
It certainly is an intense workout and can be done anywhere in your home.
Supporting users up to 240 pounds, the Maxiclimber is a viable option for most people wanting to exercise and for a range of fitness levels.
The MaxiClimber is easy to use and can be used by people of all fitness levels which is certainly a bonus. The user does get a truly full-body experience and as workouts are low impact, taking the stress away from your knees and ankles, you can do this if you’re recovering from an injury or you’re new to exercise.
Set up is easy and can be done in no time at all and storing it is just as simple, meaning you can save time and space by simply using this great, compact, piece of kit. Perhaps the best features are the automatic timer and the MaxiClimber fitness app, which is free to download and includes workout guides and meal plans to help you move towards your goals.
2. Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper
The Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper has been designed for people that want a low impact cardio workout and to also include some muscle toning exercises in their workouts.
Traditional steppers and stair climbers target the lower body, with more focus being placed on the legs, but this model goes a step further, including resistance bands to help you add more resistance to your workouts and work on your upper body as you are also working on the step machine.
The step machine comes with adjustable resistance knobs, helping you to increase the intensity of the workout and height adjustment knobs to help you change the step motion height.
With the ability to take users up to 250 pounds, this stepper also has a twist action to help you target your glutes and thighs more than usual and get a truly full-body workout. Made from heavy-duty steel, the Sunny Health & Fitness stepper is reliable, strong and a great choice for home fitness workouts that don’t require a gym membership.
Steppers and stair climbers are a fantastic way of completing low impact workouts, helping you to burn calories without putting extra stress on your joints. The resistance bands attached to this model are a great addition to a normal fitness stepper as they provide a great way of working your muscles and toning your arms whilst still working on your legs.
The digital monitor, which records total step count, and calories burned, is another great feature to help you with your fitness goals and help you to keep on track with your progress, although we would prefer if the model had preset workout programs or a wider range of progress stats.
If we could make another change to this model then a higher step range would also be recommended but otherwise, this is one strong fitness stepper that would be a welcome addition to any home gym.
3. Doufit ST-01 Folding Workout Step Machine
The Doufit is a step machine that has been designed for home use by anyone wanting to exercise and improve their health and fitness.
As the name suggests, the machine is foldable and with the collapsible frame, you won’t have any trouble at all storing this machine safely at home, it is portable and compact. You can adjust the height, making it easily usable by anyone in your home and the hydraulic rods will help you to work the deep muscles, without putting any extra pressure on your joints.
The shock absorption pads reduce noise and impact felt when using the stepper and the silent transmission pulley system will give the step climber an even greater power transfer system as they exercise and improve their fitness.
It has two main modes, basic, which slightly tilts the user forward to create a sensation similar to climbing a mountain and ‘strengthen’ which involves using exercise bands, whilst still stepping like in ‘basic’ mode.
Basic mode places more focus on your legs, waist, knees, and ankles and you also have the option to hold on to the handlebars for extra support. Whereas the addition of resistance bands makes ‘strengthen’ a strong full-body workout, ensuring you feel the force throughout your entire body.
The Doufit step machine comes with a smart digital monitor attached, allowing you to track your calories burned, time and step frequency whilst you workout and help with your wider of goals of keeping track of your progress and results.
The Doufit folding step machine is a very good option for people that want to work out but either do not have the time to commit to a full-time gym membership or are building a home gym and want a flexible piece of equipment that doesn’t take up too much space. It has a great ergonomic design which keeps you slightly forward and more realistically replicates climbing a mountain and when used with the resistance bands, provides a very testing full body workout for beginners or more advanced users. The Doufit Step Machine is reasonably priced and would be a great low impact option for users of all abilities.
4. Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster
One of the original stair climbing simulators on the market, the Xiser commercial mini Stairmaster is a high-end piece of equipment that can be used for sprint training, HIIT and anaerobic training.
Virtually maintenance free with a compact, practical and easy to use design, the Xiser Stairmaster has easily adjustable resistance and can handle user weight of up to 400 pounds. Made from cast aircraft alloy with an ergonomic design the Xiser Stairmaster is one of the lightest available models on the market at under 14lbs and claims to be the first stepping machine to support sprint training.
Whether you’re an advanced user, new to exercise or getting back into things after having an injury the Xiser mini Stairmaster uses a hydraulic pump system to make your workouts effective and rewarding and will help you towards your goals as you can use this mini Stairmaster to raise your heart rate and complete a Tabata style workout, or take things slow and steady and work hard for a longer period of time whilst you work at your desk or watch TV.
The Xiser mini Stairmaster is a very professional piece of kit with an extremely reliable build and design. Although not as fancy as others on the market, the Xiser is a very good step machine that has been designed with professional athletes in mind and for people that want to do HIIT style workouts without going to the gym.
It would be a great choice of exercise equipment for anyone wanting to lose weight or improve their fitness and it is a great low impact alternative to running on a treadmill or on the street.
What we particularly liked was how strong and durable the mini Stairmaster was and how it gets such strong results despite being smaller than some of the mid-range stair machines. We also found the ability to incorporate arm and core exercises into your routine by using the Xiser DVD a welcome addition and an added bonus when using this mini stepper.
Although it would be nice to have more features, such as an LCD computer of some sorts, it isn’t really needed and the Xiser mini Stairmaster is still a very good piece of equipment.
5. Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stepper with handlebars
This stepper includes different features to help give the user a good workout. Taking a traditional mini stepper and adding handlebars for stability, the Sunny Health and Fitness twist stepper is a great low impact cardio option for exercising at home.
It has been designed to give the user a full body deep muscle workout and with the added twist feature, also help you to tone your core and lower body, making the workouts more fun and beneficial.
Sunny Health and Fitness are a known brand in the exercise equipment world and this model is another quality piece of equipment.
Equipped with an LCD monitor to help you to keep track of your stats, such as calories burned or total step count, this model has a heavy-duty build, non slip pedals and handlebars to help the user keep their balance and feel more control as they exercise.
More advanced users and beginners alike should feel at ease on this stepper and with a max user weight of 250 pounds, most users should be able to use this stepper with ease.
Sunny health and fitness are a reputable equipment brand and you know what you’re going to get when you buy their kit. This step machine is no exception and would make a great purchase for home exercise. If we had the choice, we would like to see a higher step range on this stepper and a more comprehensive computer, giving better feedback on your workout, but for this price point, we can’t really complain as it is a great deal and a very good stair machine.
6. Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands
The Sunny Health and Fitness Mini Stepper, with accompanying resistance bands, gives you the benefits of a traditional mini stepper and increases the intensity with removable resistance bands which can be used to tone your muscles while you work.
Made from industrial strength steel for extra support and durability this mini stepper has a hydraulic drive system that makes the stepping motion smoother than ever and a large, non-slip footplate to ensure a strong, solid footing.
The LCD monitor helps you to track and monitor your progress and results, giving you information on your steps, calories and time and a height adjustment knob allowing you to change the step motion height for either short bursts or longer steps.
Although it’s a low impact workout, the sunny health and fitness mini stepper has the ability to work multiple muscles across your body and will always leave you feeling satisfied.
The sunny health and fitness mini stepper is a good, multipurpose piece of equipment that can be used for a range of different exercises, training the whole body at once and giving you a very effective workout. With adjustable resistance settings on this strong and sturdy piece of kit, you will be able to burn calories and improve your fitness whenever you want. We liked the addition of the resistance bands and the ability to remove them, in case they get in the way and we also liked the LCD screen which gives feedback on your performance. If we had a choice, we would like to have a computer which gives greater feedback and also includes preset workout programs, but all in all, it is a very good exercise stepper that we recommend.
Stepper Buying Guide
Having read through all of the above you might have an idea of which one you want to go for and if that’s the case, great, go ahead and grab it and start working your way to better fitness now.
However, if you’re still unsure which fitness stepper is the best one for you this section will help.
All of the exercise steppers included in this list share some similar traits. They are all strong, well built and will help you to burn calories and improve your health and fitness from the comfort of your own home, however, there are a few factors that may make one stepper better for you than the other.
If you like mountain climbing, then the Maxiclimber is undoubtedly the best one for you. With isometric non-stick grips for your hands, that you move as you step, you get a true full-body workout that helps you to move in a similar fashion to rock climbing.
Of course, if you’re not a rock climbing enthusiast, but simply want a truly full-body workout every time you use your equipment, then the Maxiclimber is still a great choice, and with the added bonus of having a mobile app, full of fitness workouts that can help you to get better results, the Maxiclimber is a great choice and one you should seriously consider.
If you’re new to exercise or recovering from an injury then you may want something with more support, in which case the larger Sunny Health and Fitness twist stepper (with handlebars) and the Doufit step machine have you covered.
Both come with handlebars, giving you more help and support with your balance but the Doufit may just have the edge, as the hydraulic resistance system will really target your deeper muscles and as it also comes with removable resistance bands you can perform a lot more exercises on this stepper, as you work your way to full health and fitness.
Upper body toning
If the mention of removable resistance bands spiked your interest then there are two models by Sunny Health and Fitness that come with removable resistance bands and either one would be a great choice. Being able to use resistance bands whilst you work out on your stepper is a great way of burning more calories and toning your upper body as you work your lower body.
Both machines are a similar price and there’s not much to choose between them, but if we had to go for one over the other, we would go for the Sunny Health and Fitness Twist Stepper which also comes with resistance bands.
The reason is simple. The added twist action helps to target your thighs and glutes more than a traditional stepper, so it just makes sense that in your search for a full-body workout, that can also target your problem areas, that the twist stepper would be the best choice.
If you want a professional stepper, designed with one goal in mind, to help you burn calories faster as you maximize your workouts then the Xiser commercial mini Stairmaster is the choice for you.
It doesn’t come with any attachments or handlebars but it is designed for high-intensity workouts that work you in ways you wouldn’t believe.
Created by a Ph.D., not a marketing company, the Xiser mini Stairmaster will help you to work out like a sprinter, without actually leaving your home.
The stepping machine in the gym is always busy and it’s easy to see why, as a step climber workout is always challenging and pushes you in the right direction. Luckily you can get the same (or better) benefits from buying a smaller, portable stair stepper which you can use at home or at the office. The stair climbers in this list are all high-quality pieces of equipment and all will help you to improve your health and fitness in no time at all as you burn calories and work on your body in new and exciting ways.
If you’re still unsure of which one is right for you, take another look at the buyer's guide above, but one thing is for certain, when you’ve made your purchase from one of the step machines above, you won’t be disappointed.