Last Updated: November 14th, 2021

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Stair Climbers have become very popular over a couple of years and they are excellent home gym equipment. Why?

They will help you mimic the motion of stair walking or running and you can do it from the comfort of your home. It works on your glutes, quads, hips, and your core and will provide you with a great workout.

These are very effective equipment for home workouts which is our favored choice of a workout during this pandemic. Below we have chosen the best stair climbers for your home which will suit your space and budget.

If you are in short of time and don’t want to go through the list of stair climbers, you can pick Bowflex Max Trainer. They are one of the most popular among gym rats and fitness enthusiasts and will serve you for a long time.

Best Stair Climbers For Home

Best Stair Climbers For home

Best Overall

Bowflex Max Trainer Series
(M3 Trainer)

  • Easy low-impact motion
  • Burn rate indicators
  • 8 resistance levels

Check Price!

Best Budget

Sunny Health & Fitness
Mini Stepper with
Resistance Bands

  • Pocket Friendly
  • Space Efficient
  • Effective Cardio

Check Price!

Best Low-Impact

Maxi Climber The Original
Patented Vertical Climber

  • 14 mins for full-body workout.
  • Small footprint.
  • Foldable.

Check Price!

1. Bowflex Max Trainer Series (M3 Trainer)

This is one of the most popular steppers available in the market today. It combines the low-impact motion of the elliptical and the cardio power of a stepper.

You will be able to see results if you spend only 14 min per day on this machine. What makes this equipment unique is its burn rate display.

It provides you with calories burned per minute and sets activity level targets. This way you can focus your effort on achieving your goals. It comes with two workout programs and comes with 8 resistance levels which are enough for most of the users.

Also, a chest strap is included with this trainer and can track the workout history of up to two users which I think is a bit restrictive. This limits the usage of this machine as a family workout machine. However, if you can manage the tacking with a training journal, then this can do wonders for your family’s health.


  • Full workout in 14 mins.
  • Good built quality.
  • Excellent for HIIT.
  • Great for people short on time.
  • Space-saving.
  • The soothing bell rings at the start and end of an interval.


  • Only two workout modes.
  • Assembling is not totally painless.
  • The pivot shaft can be a bit squeaky.
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2. Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands

On a tight budget?

Then this may be the perfect stepper for you. Plus it comes with resistance bands that will help you with a full-body workout.

There is an LCD monitor attached to the stepper and will help you to measure your steps, time and calories burned providing you with a more effective exercise.

As mentioned earlier, this comes with removable resistance bands and together they work on 20 different core muscles, and using low-impact aerobic exercises helps to tone the chest, back, and shoulders.

It is equipped with a hydraulic drive system which provides you a jerk-free motion. Also, to adjust the machine for your height, you have a knob attached to the stepper and helps you to set it for either short bursts or long steps.

Also, the pedals are wide and non-slip and help to keep you stable during the entire workout session. This stepper is easy to assemble and you will be good to go in a couple of mins after unboxing it. Also, it can support a max user weight of 220 lbs. which is sufficient in most cases.


  • Pocket friendly.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Space-efficient and can be stored under a desk.
  • Lightweight but stable.


  • Adjusting height will also adjust the tension.
  • The plastic parts may leave stains on the carpet. Have to use a mat underneath.
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3. Sunny Health & Fitness Stair Stepper Exercise Equipment Step Machine for Exercise

This is a bigger piece of equipment than the previous mini stepper from the same brand. The movement resembles more stair climbing as your body will be leaning slightly forward.

For keeping your stable, your can hold on to the handlebar that is placed on top of the equipment as a U-shaped pattern.

This is a very space-efficient stepper that is slim and lightweight. The pedals are controlled using a hydraulic and this provides you with a smooth movement.

You will be able to control the incline from 1 to 12 and this machine is capable of supporting a weight of up to 220lbs which is sufficient for most users.

To enhance your stability the pedal plates have patterns on them. This makes them anti-skid, keeping you stable and balance during the entire workout session.

This stepper can be folded to save space and can be stored away in any corner or closet. This makes it very easy to use equipment and very convenient to be around.


  • Digital LCD monitor to track your calories, scan, time, and count.
  • Foldable design.
  • 12 levels of resistance.
  • Budget-friendly.


  • Handlebars are short.
  • Replacement parts are hard to get.
  • The digital monitor is very basic.
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4. StairMaster 8-FreeClimber with LCD

StairMaster will provide you a near-perfect stair climbing experience. It features patented, independent pedal geometry which is equipped with a 3-bar linkage. This keeps the pedals level and provides you with the safest and biomechanically correct workout experience.

You can have different intensities of workouts as you can control the pedals from 26 to 174 steps per minute. You can also vary the steps which can range from 1 to 14 inches.

There are a host of workout programs that are available with StairMaster like quick start, manual, fat burner, calorie burner, speed intervals, custom intervals, random intervals, heart rate intervals, calorie goal, and heart zone trainer.

It comes with a large user-friendly LCD screen. Also, a lot of fitness tests like a multi-stage Fit test, CPAT Fire Fit Test, etc.

Heart rate monitoring includes Polar compatible wireless and contact sensors and the maximum weight capacity is around 350 lbs.

It comes with a manufacturer’s limited warranty of 10 years on the structural frame, not including coatings, all other components warranted for 10 years parts, and 3 years labor.


  • Gym quality equipment.
  • Goal-oriented workout programs.
  • Lots of variations can be achieved by varying step speed and height.


  • Big equipment.
  • Pricey.
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5. Maxi Climber The Original Patented Vertical Climber

The motion of this climber resembles climbing the ladder. The handles move vertically up along with the pedals in one synchronous motion.

It is suitable for all fitness levels and comes with a bonus fitness app. Using the app you will be able to track your calories burned, workout minutes, and progress. This is full-body workout equipment that combines calorie-burning cardio with muscle toning in one workout session. Also, this workout is low-impact and is easy on your knees and ankles.

You can easily set up this equipment in minutes as it comes 90% preassembled. Also, you can easily fold it making it convenient for storage. It can support a max weight of up to 240 pounds and a user height of 6.2 ft.


  • Easy to assemble.
  • Efficient utilization of workout time.
  • Small overall footprint.
  • Mimics stair climbing.


  • Built quality could have been better.
  • Some users find it not challenging enough.
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6. Stamina 40-0069 SpaceMate Folding Stepper

This is a no-fuss stepper that will take up a small space and will provide you with an excellent workout. This stepper has independent design stepping action which helps the pedals to move independently. That means you will have to be mindful while you are doing the workout.

This is a hydraulic stepper and comes with two independent hydraulic cylinders. This will provide you with smooth movement and you will not have to deal with jerky movements while using this machine.

The handles of this stepper are fixed and don’t provide movement during exercises. However, it is covered with foam for comfortable gripping. It comes with a multi-function monitor that tracks the number of steps per minute, the number of steps during the workout, workout time, and calories burned.

You can easily fold it for storage and takes up a really small space if you can store it vertically. The maximum user weight that it can support is around 250lbs.


  • Pocket friendly.
  • Really small footprint.
  • Foldable.
  • Suitable for people even above 6 ft height.


  • Shock absorbers could have been better.
  • The monitor is very basic.
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7. SOLE, CC81 Cardio Climber, Full Body Home Workout, Integrated Technology, LCD Screen, High Intensity Interval Training, Low-Impact Design

This is a vertical stair climber and will work on your whole body. It combines the elements of both elliptical and stair climber and provides you with a ladder-climbing motion. Since this works on your entire body, it provides very effective toning and is easy on joints.

The frame is made from the highest-grade welded steel and comes with a lifetime warranty. Also, it is capable of supporting a max weight of up to 400 lbs.

This will provide you with a low-impact workout and is easy on your knees and lower back. To vary your workout, this cardio climber comes with adjustable handlebars and a resistance knob dial to vary the resistance.

This machine is designed for HIIT of toning/training workouts. It comes with an integrated tablet holder to use your devices to watch your favorite shows or your training routine. It also has an LCD display which is 5 X 3 inches which are big enough to view your stats easily.


  • Excellent build quality.
  • Very stable.
  • Good for any fitness level.
  • Good for heavier individuals.


  • Big footprint.
  • Pricey.
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8. Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer with Curve-Crank Technology

Body Power 2 in 1 is a combo of an elliptical trainer and a stepper and comes with the curve crank technology. With this, this machine applies constant tension to the X and Y axes, delivering a dead-zone-free rotation at every step. Also, the operation of this machine is smooth and will provide you with a jerk-free movement.

You can safely and easily adjust the resistance of this machine providing you with an ergonomically efficient HIIT workout. Also, this has a decent-sized monitor that will provide you with calories burned, time, speed, and distance.

It comes with synchronized handlebars which will provide you with a full-body workout combining the benefits of the elliptical machine, vertical climber, and an exercise stepper.

This machine has a much smaller footprint than the previous one in this list which makes it perfect for home and apartment dwellers. Also, this machine is capable of supporting up to 250 lbs, which is more than sufficient for most of the users.

It has 8 levels of resistance and wide non-skid foot pedals to keep you balanced during the entire session of the workout.


  • Good built quality.
  • Compact footprint.
  • Good for a time-efficient full-body workout.


  • Assembling can be time-consuming.
  • May become a bit noisy after some time.
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9. Avari Programmable Stepper

It is exactly what it is…a stepper. However, this comes with some nuances that many frill-full steppers don’t have. This is a piece of perfect family equipment and can have 4 individual user programs for more personalized training.

It has handrails with sensors to monitor your heart rate. This way you can train in your heart rate zones and see faster results for weight loss.

It comes with an InTouch monitor which contains 20 different workout programs. This will allow you to vary your workout and not get bored while doing so.

Also, you can easily move this machine to a more storable location using the built-in wheels that come with them. This is a pretty convenient feature if you share an apartment with multiple people.

The handrails are well padded for a comfortable grip and non-slip. However, they don’t move. So, you will not get a complete body exercise as with the other synchronized-arm steppers.


  • A family fitness machine.
  • Can be used comfortably for users up to 250lbs weight.
  • Good for even taller users above 6ft.


  • Build quality could have been better.
  • Not full-body workout equipment.
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10. StairMaster SM3 StepMill

This is a smaller machine that you will get in the gyms however, they are just as effective. It resembles an actual stair and will work on your glutes, hips, and all the major muscle groups of your lower body.

Also, this is a very good piece of equipment for cardio and strength workouts and you will be mimicking the movement as on the stairs.

There are a lot of variations that you can try with speed as the step-count ranges from 26 to 162 steps per minute. This makes them ideal for HIIT and other interval types of training.

Also, this machine comes pre-loaded with 10 workout programs so that you can get started with your workout right away. These workouts include fat burner, calorie burner, intervals, and more.

It comes with an easy-to-read, large backlit LCD display and polar compatible heart rate monitoring for more accurate training.


  • Good for users above 6ft also.
  • Smaller footprint.
  • Excellent for an apartment.


  • Built quality could have been better.
  • Can become noisy.
Check Price!

Buyer’s Guide

Overall Footprint

Is your stair climber have a footprint that will work with your space? This is one of the primary things that you should look into while purchasing a stair climber. There are many stair climbers available that are very small, but you may want some specific feature that is available in a bigger stair climber. However, that may mean that it will not fit in your space.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of your stair climber must be more than the heaviest user who will be using the equipment. This way the longevity of the stair climber will remain intact and you will also be able to avail of any warranty should the need arise.

Resistances Available

Some of the stair climbers come with very low levels of resistance and may not suit your fitness needs. While choosing one for your personal use, check if it meets your fitness standards. You may want to give it a try first before committing funds. However, in this pandemic you may not be able to go out and check each and every machine and may be restricted to order online…make sure to read the return policy, should you have to return the machine due to this.

Movable Arms

Some users prefer it, some don’t. However, everyone will univocally say that this feature will provide you a complete body workout. However, if you don’t prefer this or have some sort of balancing issue, then go for something with a fixed arm.

Stepper Speed

When we buy a piece of equipment for a workout, we generally plan to use it for years to come. However, our body gets pretty used to a particular speed and our fitness level will not improve. Selecting a stepper with multiple stepper speed variations will help you keep working on your fitness level and not bother about plateauing.


We all want that fancy new stepper with loads of features. However, many times we are restricted by our budget. If it doesn’t fit the bill we may as well drop the idea or look for something that will be not as pricey. In fact, this is where mini steppers can be really great and many of them will come in a price range under $50.


How long should I stay on the stair climber?

You can stay on a stair climber from 15 min to 30 mins. If you are a beginner, aim for 15 mins and then gradually build up to 30 min. However, if 15 min seems too high for you, do as many mins as is comfortable for you. Also, don’t push yourself to do 30 min at the beginning as you may end up getting injured in the knees.

Are home steppers any good?

Yes, home steppers or mini steppers are good. They will get your heart pumping and you can reap the full benefits of good cardio. Plus, they are so small that they will fit under most of the furniture and can be stored away when not in use. You can truly workout anywhere and whenever you want. However, they are no-frills steppers and you cannot do anything fancy with them. They get the basic work of getting your heart pumping and that they do well.

Which is better stair climber or elliptical?

An elliptical is a low-impact running replacement and stair climbers are meant to mimic stair climbing. So, if you want something gentler on your knees, elliptical will be better. However, elliptical requires are a lot of space and budget and may not be a good choice for home (if you don’t have a spare gym room). Stair climbers on the other hand are more compact and cheaper and will provide you a similar cardio benefit like elliptical. So, for me, a stair climber is a better choice if you don’t have knee issues. Otherwise, go for elliptical.

Is stair climber better than treadmill?

A stair climber is better than a treadmill because you will have to add a lifting motion against gravity when using it. Such a motion is not present when using a treadmill. In other words, you will be putting more strain on your upper legs making this workout more significant for your overall fitness level. Also, there are studies conducted that show that climbing stairs improves lungs and heart health more effectively.

Why is the stair climber so hard?

When you use a stair climber you are effectively lifting your whole body weight on one leg using your glutes and other muscles. If your glutes are not as strong, you will feel more burn and that will make the exercise hard. Also, if you are exercising your hands, then it will make it even tougher as your back, abs, and your whole upper body is now engaged. This means you will have to put more effort into a very short period of time. This is the reason that the stair climber is so hard.


Adegoke, B. O. A., and O. M. Olagbegi. “Comparative effect of forward and backward stair climbing on cardio-respiratory parameters of apparently healthy young adults.” African Journal Of Physiotherapy And Rehabilitation Sciences 4.1-2 (2012): 34-39.

Villiot-Danger, E., Villiot-Danger, J. C., Reychler, G., & Razzouk, H. (2014). Evaluation of cardio-respiratory parameters during the stair climbing test and the six minutes walking test. European Respiratory Journal44(Suppl 58).

Donne, B., and M. Egana. “Physiological changes following a 12-week gym-based stair-climbing, elliptical trainer, and treadmill running program in females.” Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness 44 (2004): 141-146.

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Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

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