If you’re looking for a low-impact, effective workout machine that helps tone your lower body and improves your cardiovascular performance, a stair stepper is the right choice for you.
You know how you get winded walking up a few flights of stairs to your office or apartment? That’s because you’re exercising your heart, lungs, and muscles as you climb. Why not get that same type of workout on a continuous loop?
Let’s take a look at 7 of the best stair steppers available on the market today. Have a look at their detailed reviews.
BowFlex Treadclimber TC-10 Review
Burn up to 600 calories in just 30 minutes on the BowFlex Treadclimber! This low-impact machine lets you move at your own pace, toning your abs, legs, and rear as you workout. You’ll burn more calories than you would using a traditional treadmill – an estimated 3.5 times as many calories as on any other cardio machine! – but you won’t feel nearly as tired at the end.
The easy-to-read display shows you time, speed, distance, and calories burned, so you always know how hard you’re working out. Adjustable speed lets you move as fast or as slow as you want for a truly customized exercise experience.
It performs like a treadmill, with belts that move forward as you step. The treadles move up and down, mimicking climbing stairs, while the elliptical motion offers low-impact movement that’s better on your joints.
The Treadclimber also offers a G.O. Coaching console, tracking your weekly minutes logged toward a 90-minute goal. No more worrying about keeping track of all the times you’ve stepped on the Treadclimber this week!
- Unique dual treadle system gives you the benefits of three machines – treadmill, stair stepper, and elliptical – in one.
- Burn up to 3.5 times as many calories as other cardio machines without feeling as tired.
- Low-impact workout is easy on joints.
- Heavy – The machine itself weighs 185 pounds.
- An older machine, so may be more difficult to find.
- Not for anyone over 300 pounds.
ProForm Cardio HIIT Elliptical Trainer
Take advantage of the HIIT (high intensity interval training) craze without ever leaving your home with this machine!
Pair the motion and ease of climbing stairs with the intensity of boxing, allowing you to activate more muscles and burn more calories faster. The 10-inch vertical elliptical path pairs with upper-body punching motions to workout your arms and shoulders as well as your lower body. Using this machine will help you tone and strengthen your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, biceps, and triceps in one movement.
Your feet never leave the pedals, so even at high intensity your muscles aren’t being jostled and jarred like they would on a treadmill or in a boxing class. This allows you to workout longer than you would with traditional methods, helping you get fitter faster.
Special Silent Magnetic Resistance technology makes this machine much quieter than typical elliptical or other resistance machines, meaning you’re less likely to disrupt your family while working out. It’s also more compact than a traditional elliptical, taking up half the floor space!
You can even add on ProForm’s iFit Coach Ready subscription for personalized nutrition, your own personal trainer you can take anywhere you travel, and automatically logged workouts.
- More compact than traditional elliptical, taking up half the floor space.
- Silent Magnetic Resistance technology makes this machine quieter than other resistance-based equipment.
- Workout your whole body – arms, abs, and legs – with one motion.
- Burn more calories in the same amount of time with HIIT workouts.
- Customized training and tracking require an extra subscription fee.
- HIIT workouts may be too intense for some users.
Maxi Climber- Budget Stair Stepper
The Maxi Climber is a vertical stepper which simulates rock or wall climbing. It engages your entire body, quickly getting muscles firing and calories burning.
This adjustable machine has many user-friendly functions along with ergonomically adjustable settings. The Maxi Climber is ideal for burning calories as well as promoting excellent cardiovascular health, and muscle fitness.
It’s made from the best materials and was designed to be lightweight but durable. No need to make a service call or look for a replacement next year! It’s also designed to be compact, folding up when not in use for easy storage in a closet or against a wall, saving your precious home floor space. The Maxi Climber comes pre-assembled, so you don’t have to worry about deciphering confusing directions and ending up with missing parts!
Perform both cardio and muscle-strengthening moves in one workout to get in shape faster and with fewer types of workouts.
- Total body workout targets all of your major muscle groups.
- With a focus on your upper body, you can become stronger and not just thinner.
- Over-engineered with a sturdy design.
- Affordable for home use.
- Comes pre-assembled and collapsible for convenient storage.
- Improves posture and cardiovascular fitness.
- There is a bit of a learning curve to use this machine.
- Not suitable for users over 240 lbs.
Sunny Folding Stepper
Sunny Health and Fitness Folding Climbing is an excellent low-impact workout machine which is ideal for even small spaces.
It is great for climbing training, as it effectively targets and tones the core and lower body. You won’t just get a lower-body workout with this machine – You’ll get a full-body blast in the comfort of your own home. It can effectively tone and tighten your calves, glutes, thigh muscles, and other parts of your core and lower body.
This folding stepper has twelve adjustable resistance levels, allowing the user to both enjoy a smooth workout as well as challenge themselves to reach greater fitness levels. The digital display allows you to know exactly where you are in your workout.
Adjustable hydraulic cylinders give you a smooth resistance workout, and resting your feet on the pedals means your joints don’t feel the impact. This allows you to spend more time exercising with less pain, improving your results.
Its sturdy steel and plastic construction is built to last, and the Sunny Folding Stepper is made to be portable and stows easily in any corner of your home.
- Great low-impact machine.
- Onboard display monitoring time and calories.
- Highly portable.
- Twelve adjustable resistance levels to tailor your workout.
- Immobile bar handles.
- Some of the taller people to use this equipment complain that their knees occasionally hit the resistance cylinders.
- Not the most effective upper-body workout.
Conquer Vertical Climber Fitness Climbing Machine
The Conquer Vertical Climber is our choice for the most budget-friendly machine on the market.
It provides a great workout, despite lacking the option to vary resistance levels. Mobile handles with comfort grips allow you to workout your arms and shoulders as well as your lower body. Tone and strengthen legs, shoulders, hips, glutes, abdominals, and core all in one workout.
This compact piece of equipment is ideal for HIIT workouts, as its basic resistance levels leave you in control of how fast or slow your workout goes. Pair the Conquer with your favorite fitness tracker to design your own workouts. You’re in charge!
It sports a sleek design of metal framework making setup and storage a breeze. The Conquer Vertical Climber provides for natural climbing mechanics, which encourages a full range of motion. The handles are ergonomically designed for user comfort. Additionally the Conquer Vertical Climber provides an onboard counter which allows for tracking elapsed workout time and calorie-burn.
- Sleek, steel frame design
- Ergonomic handlebars
- smooth operation during exercise, promoting full range of motion
- It doesn’t have variable resistance settings
MultiSports ST-2200 Stair Stepper Machine
This robust cardio machine provides a strong and stable base, as it is manufactured using heavy duty steel. The chain-driven mechanism was designed to give you a smooth, quiet workout so you don’t disturb your household.
The Eddy Current Brake Resistance system was engineered with ease of operability and smooth workout flow in mind, while also imitating a natural climbing motion. Enjoy all the benefits of larger, higher-impact cardio machines in the MultiSports ST-2200 without hurting your joints and muscles.
This stair stepper comes with a large LCD console pre-set with six workout programs as well as readouts of all of your vital workout statistics. See time, distance, calories burned, and heart rate as you workout. An included hand rail heart monitors enables a constant real-time pulse readout.
Manual quick start allows you to hop on and get going – No need to start one of the workout programs! A 1-year parts and limited lifetime frame warranty mean you can use the MultiSports ST-2200 with confidence.
- Durable and reliable
- Six pre-set workouts
- Hand-Rail Heart-rate monitor
- Eddy Current Brake Resistance system
- Smooth operation and natural climbing motion
- One of the pricier options available
- Large form, which might not be ideal for those with smaller apartments or workout spaces
Maxi Climber Total Body Workout
A beefed-up version of your typical vertical stepper, with extra handle grips. With the additional grips, you can focus on additional arm and shoulder muscle challenges. Get more of an upper-body workout than some of its competitors in the market, while also increasing calorie burn and muscle toning.
No need to drive to the gym and use several machines, or plan your week around making sure you workout all the muscle groups. The MaxiClimber offers a full-body workout in each session! Strengthen and tone arms, shoulders, abs, core, and legs with one easy movement.
The MaxiClimber comes 90% pre-assembled, meaning it takes just a few quick minutes of setup right out of the box and you’re ready to go! It also stores quickly and easily, giving you more space at home.
Get all the benefits of traditional cardio machines and complicated weights routines in less time from the comfort of your own home. You control the intensity level, so go as fast or as slow as you want. This machine is great for HIIT workouts or casual exercisers who want something less intense but just as effective.
- Durable handle grips
- Extended range of motion for a greater workout
- Manufactured with solid steel construction
- Enhance focus on the arms and shoulders
- Fully adjustable to accommodate taller users
Choosing the Right Stair-Climbing Machine for You
Choosing a stair-climbing machine is a personal decision, and one that must be made after weighing a variety of factors.
First, you have to figure out exactly what you want out of your stair stepper. Do you want to be able to control your speed and resistance from a programmable readout? Do you want to have built-in exercise programs to guide you through your workout? Do you want to totally be in control of how fast your workout goes without having to mess with pushing buttons?
Next, you need to consider what type of workout you want to have. If you want a total-body workout that incorporates your arms as well as your lower body, then you need to find a stair stepper that offers movable handles. If that’s not as important to you, but having the option of high-intensity workouts is, you’ll be looking for a different sort of machine.
Then, think about what features are important in your stair stepper. Do you want an LED or computerized display? Are you loving the idea of having your stair stepper operate the same way as a treadmill? Do you need a machine that’s ultra-quiet so you can get in those early-morning workouts?
Next, you need to think about how much space you have to dedicate to your new stair stepper. If you have a large basement where you plan to workout, or a dedicated workout room, you can go with a machine that takes up more floor space. But if you’ve got a small apartment or need to be able to easily stow your equipment away at the end of a workout, you’ll need one of the more compact, foldable machines.
Finally, consider how much you’re willing to spend on your equipment. Stair steppers can range in price from under $200 to under $1000 and there are stair steppers under 2000 and under 3000 (premium stair steppers). If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, you will be looking at one of the lighter-weight, non-electronic machines with fewer adjustment options. But if the sky’s the limit on your budget, you can get any machine you want with any number of great features.
No matter which stair stepper machine you choose, buying one is sure to be a good decision. You will be able to workout at home, while watching your favorite TV show, making the time pass quickly and making it more likely you will workout regularly. You will lose weight, experience better muscle tone, and have improved cardiovascular function. Your body will thank you for your choice!