Mini exercise machines are becoming a popular way of staying fit at home. Especially among those who are limited in terms of space.
This is a category of fitness equipment that includes a number of different machines, mostly aimed at cardio exercise and injury rehabilitation and management. We’ve previously looked at the top such as mini exercise bikes, pedal exercisers, and mini ellipticals.
Today we’re going to show you our picks for the best mini steppers for a compact workout.
We’ve found 5 models that offer great bang for your buck and deliver performance that will help you maintain the level of fitness you desire. Some of these are basic models aimed at budget users while others bring a few more bells and whistles to the table. The idea was to find something for everyone.
Once we go over our picks, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of mini steppers and what makes them such a solid choice. We’ll also examine which features you should look for and what you can expect to find in this category of exercise equipment. At the end of the day, you should have a solid idea of what mini steppers are all about and how to find the best mini stepper for you.
Best Mini Stepper At a Glance
Best Mini Stepper Overall
Designed to outperform anything in its class, this mini stepper from Xiser is all about consistent performance over long periods of heavy-duty use. This is the best mini stepper currently available, what you’ll want to have at your side if quality is your primary concern.
Best Value Mini Stepper
Sunny’s mini stair stepper represents great value for money for those not fully willing to commit to more expensive models. It’s an awesome stepper packed with decent hardware that gets the job done and then some. All of that at a price that’s too good to ignore.
Best Budget Mini Stepper
Sunny’s awesome lineup of models includes a few outliers in terms of both form and function. This mini stepper brings a similar core setup as the previous model, but with one major difference – it features two resistance bands that allow you to do a decent upper body workout.
The Best Mini Steppers
|Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster||
|Sunny Health & Fitness Adjustable Mini Stair Stepper||
|Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands||
|GoPlus Mini Stepper Air Climber||
|BEOUZO Fitness Stair Stepper||
|Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster|
|Sunny Health & Fitness Adjustable Mini Stair Stepper|
|Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands|
|GoPlus Mini Stepper Air Climber|
|BEOUZO Fitness Stair Stepper|
The pole position on our list belongs to Xiser and their Commercial Mini Stairmaster. This is a highly polished machine and that doesn’t only refer to its shiny finish.
Xiser has spared no expenses in making this stepper virtually indestructible and every bit as reliable. If the cast aircraft grade alloy chassis didn’t tell you that much, heavy-duty hydraulic cylinders probably did. The result of such high-quality materials is a stepper that weighs around 14lbs and can easily be taken on a road trip.
The overall design they’ve utilized is 100% utilitarian. There are no unnecessary gadgets or components to take away from its streamlined layout. Xiser also likes to mention that this model was designed by professionals and features accurate biomechanical ergonomics.
In short, it is the optimal choice for frequent, heavy use. If you’re into HIIT, you’ll love this model.
- Highly portable stepper that is among the lightest and most compact in its class
- Features high quality, aircraft-grade alloys that ensure durability on all fronts
- Features two patented hydraulic cylinders that offer smooth and reliable operation
- Offers biomechanically accurate ergonomics
The Not So Good
- Definitely not a model for budget-conscious users
Speaking of budget users, our next pick was designed with them in mind.
Made by Sunny Health & Fitness, this mini stepper is a proper bang for the buck champion that almost everyone can afford. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in either performance or quality.
As expected from Sunny, they have found the perfect balance of quality and performance that they could offer at such attractive prices.
Calling this stepper compact would be an understatement. Sunny went all out in building a package that can fit in a duffel bag. The system they went with utilizes two hydraulic cylinders mounted underneath the footpads.
With adjustable height, a built-in digital monitor and a super-compact frame, this mini stepper is by far one of the best mini options on the market right now. The only aspect of design where Sunny dropped the ball a little is the limited choice of colors.
- One of the most compact models that you can bring with you anywhere
- Features hydraulic cylinders with an adjustable range of motion
- It is one of the most affordable options available at the moment
- Brings good build quality at a great price
The Not So Good
- Sunny’s choice of colors could have been more inclusive
- It isn’t designed for heavy-duty use
Next up we have another Sunny Health & Fitness option for you to check out. This time around they have spiced things up by adding a resistance band component to the design.
While this model is similar to the one we’ve just discussed, there are still a number of differences. For starters, this one is more compact. The only issue here is that the smaller frame means shorter travel of the footpads, which reduces the functional range of motion and has effects for the extent to which your leg muscles are activated.
This mini stepper compensates by introducing resistance bands into the mix. As a result, you’re getting a full-body workout where other models only work your legs.
As far as build quality goes, this is a relatively solid machine. Being one of the most affordable steppers on the market does mean that Sunny had to cut a few corners here or there. One of those would be small footpads. However, you do get an integrated display.
- Highly affordable model that is perfect for beginners or budget users
- Comes with built-in features often found only on more expensive models
- Features resistance bands that introduce an upper body exercise into the mix
The Not So Good
- Limited length of footpad travel could be an issue for some
- Small footpads are not ideal for users with larger feet
GoPlus is another great brand that offers efficient fitness gear aimed at budget users. Their Air Climber mini stepper matches that reputation to a fault. As you can see from the product images this is another model that features resistance bands.
There is no better way to define bang for your buck than to have an upper and lower body exerciser in such a compact machine. Another thing you’ll notice is that this stepper uses a design that is very similar to the one used by Sunny.
There are minor differences, but the layout is pretty much the same. That’s a good thing. It’s a proven setup that is known to be reliable. Add to that GoPlus’ choice of materials and hardware components, and you have yourself a rather reliable workhorse stepper that can be had for a small amount of money.
The only thing to look out for are the rings where you mount the resistance cables. They aren’t all that thick, so you’d need to go easy on the upper body.
- Simple design that has been proven many times
- Affordable model that brings great features
- Made using quality tubing and durable materials
The Not So Good
- Resistance band mounting rings should be beefier
- Might require some lubrication before use
The last place on our list belongs to BEOUZO’s fitness stair stepper. This is a robust little device that isn’t really meant to be portable as much as it was designed to be durable.
The company behind this machine utilized the same proven design we’ve seen on the previous two steppers above but beefed it up considerably. As a result, we have a much more stable, durable and reliable setup that is suitable for heavy and frequent use.
As far as features go, you are looking at the usual package. This model comes with a built-in display unit that tracks your progress in various ways. Footpads come in the form of non-slip, wide PVC units that always ensure proper grip.
Adjustable hydraulic resistance adds a whole new dimension to this stepper as you can choose how challenging your workout is going to be. It is worth mentioning that BEOUZO offers some of the best hydraulic cylinders in its class.
- An all-around great stepper suitable for heavy use
- Features an advanced version of the standardized layout
- Made out of quality materials and quality components
The Not So Good
- Might need some lubrication right out of the box
- It’s at the upper limits of the affordable segment
Should You Get a Mini Stepper?
Mini exercisers are a great way to keep yourself moving at home. However, not all of them are made equal. Some people prefer the super low-impact nature of mini exercise bikes while others would rather go with ellipticals. For more info, check out our guide to the best mini ellipticals on the market. Finally, there are those who want something that is one step higher in this hierarchy – something more challenging.
This is where mini steppers come into the fold. These machines simulate climbing stairs and can give you a challenging workout. Best of all, they are probably the most compact mini exerciser of the entire lot.
Whether or not you should get a mini stepper is a matter of taste and preference. If you’re dealing with limited space at home but you want something that will allow you to stay active, mini exercisers are a great way to go. Mini steppers are the only option that can easily facilitate a HIIT workout depending on the model you go with.
In that regard, they have very little competition. Another thing that works in their favor are the prices. Sure, there are top-tier, expensive steppers out there, but the entry-level to mid-range products are extremely affordable. That is obviously something to keep firmly in mind when making your final decision.
Choosing the Right Mini Stepper For You
By now you should know whether mini steppers are the best exercise machine for you. If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, we can move on to figuring out how to find the right one for you. Despite being relatively simple in nature, there are still a few factors to consider when looking for a decent model. We have laid them out for you for the sake of simplicity.
Size and Weight
Mini steppers are a great choice for machines that you can take with you on the go. As a matter of fact, they are probably among the most compact fitness machines out there. With all that said, not all of them are created equal in this regard.
There are steppers that are considered large, those that are considered subcompact and just about everything in between.
Finding the right size and weight will come down to what you expect to get from your mini stepper? If you are looking for something to travel with, you might want to look into the lighter, more compact models.
On the other hand, if you just want a solid machine to use at home, a larger, more robust model could prove to be the right choice.
Even though steppers are traditionally meant to work your lower body, there are options out there that will engage your upper body as well. This is done using cables. Naturally, there is only so much one can do with these.
Even though they won’t replace dumbbells or a bench press station, they will keep your core and upper body engaged. These steppers go to show that there is a lot more to these devices than what meets the eye.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mini Steppers
Figuring out what to look for in a mini stepper is a large part of the equation. However, there are still some questions out there that we haven’t yet covered. The following segment will include the most frequently asked questions about mini steppers and their respective answers.
Can a Mini Stepper Help with Weight Loss?
Mini steppers can help with weight loss in the sense that they are pushing your body to burn calories. The exercise you are performing while using these devices isn’t a light one. The real question is whether or not mini steppers are going to be enough to lose weight?
This is where mini steppers are right there with just about any piece of fitness gear. No amount of cardio will help you lose significant amounts of weight unless other parts of the equation are covered as well. Those other parts of the equation mainly focus on nutrition. Proper nutrition with a tangible caloric deficit is imperative.
Can you use a mini stepper sitting down?
Mini steppers, unlike mini ellipticals and other similar designs, aren’t capable of being used while sitting down. Their design prevents such use. Trying to use a mini stepper while sitting down would present the user with too steep of an angle for the footpads.
Even if you were somehow to bypass this issue, you would still have to deal with the fact that steppers require the downward force that follows a vertical trajectory. Because of all that, you are much better off with something that was designed to be used while sitting down – something like a good pedal exerciser.
What muscles do mini steppers work?
All stepper machines are designed to mimic actual stair-climbing, which has been shown to activate an extensive range of muscles in the lower back and legs. While mini steppers don’t perfectly replicate the actual climbing of stairs, they do still activate that same wide range of muscles.
Using a mini stepper will help to develop the erector spinae (muscles in the lower back that help to support and stabilize the spine), glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and major muscles of the lower leg (e.g., calf muscles and tibialis anteriors).
Basically, your entire lower body will be working overtime if you go hard enough during your mini stepper workout. Indeed, steppers have been shown to be extremely effective in developing the strength and balance of ability of the lower body.
In this regard mini steppers present a much more aggressive exercise than the rest of the mini exercise equipment family. The trade-off is that mini steppers aren’t as low-impact as some other options in this category (e.g., mini ellipticals).
As always, it’s important to recognize what works for you and your particular goals. Additionally, you’ve got to be realistic with your needs. If you’re recovering from a serious lower body injury, a mini stepper may not be the optimal choice for you. If you want to build stronger legs, it most definitely is.
Well, there you have it: The 5 Best Mini Steppers on the Market
By the time you’re reading this section of our guide, you should have all the necessary information regarding mini steppers. We tried to be as concise as possible in order to make this a simple, easy-to-follow guide, however, there was still a lot of info to cover. The models we have picked are on this list for a good reason. They are all interesting in their own way. You’ll find expensive flagships, affordable entry-level models and everything in-between! All you need to do is choose the one that works for you.