Physicians, weight loss specialists and personal trainers can all agree that cardiovascular training is vital to a healthy heart, fat loss and weight management. But so many people who begin a new exercise routine quit after just a few weeks, and causes are often inconvenience, cost, difficulty, injury or boredom. Workouts with a stepper machine are a convenient way to burn several hundred calories when you are short on time or money.
For your convenience, we have reviewed 10 of the most popular and highly-rated stepper machines, based on market sales, consumer reviews and best value.
10. Stamina InStride Pro Electronic Stepper
Step with comfort on the dual hydraulic cylinders. The two resistance tubes provide a bonus upper body strength training workout. This compact design includes several levels of resistance bands and a DVD. Product is easy to assemble but may be noisy, with squeaking described by some users.
The maximum weight capacity is 220 pounds. Battery operated display monitor tracks time, calories and steps. The stepper has partial 1-year warranty. Cost is $45 – $70 and includes free shipping.
9. Marcy Home Cardio Exercise Mini Stepper with Handle and Display MS-95
This shock-resistant trainer provides plenty of support, due to its solid and comfortable handlebars and wide, slip-resistant pedals. The steel frame construction provides strong and durable functionality. The gentle glide makes it safe for anyone with knee pain. Easy cardio workout helps to increase endurance. Consumers have reported that the display does not last and that assembly can be challenging.
Weight capacity is up to 250 pounds. Some assembly is required. Includes an electronic display monitor. Cost is $70 – $115 and includes free shipping.
8. Gazelle Freestyle Step Machines
The independent swing design allows for multiple workouts and low impact, effective cardiovascular exercise. Machine provides different levels of resistance and speeds for interval training. Product is easy and fun to use. Range of motion makes movements more natural. However, some exercisers have encountered knee pain with use. Consumers have also complained of loud squeaking sound and difficult assembly.
Maximum weight is 300 pounds. Item folds for storage and includes a battery-operated pulse monitor, 3 AAA batteries, 2 workout DVDs, a nutrition guide and a 22-ounce water bottle. Assembly is required. Cost is $150 – $200 with free U.S. shipping available.
7. Brenda DyGraf’s Mini Strider X
Enjoy a stress-free workout at any time with this discreet stepper machine. This product fits under a desk or in front of any chair for a seated workout. Forward and backward foot movements provide improved circulation, while the side-to-side motion provides toning and strengthening of the inner and outer thigh muscles. Workouts counteract the negative effects of sitting for long periods. Regular exercisers may have difficulty getting an effective workout, since the intensity is lower on this machine than others. Users have reported that the snap-on pedal assembly and instructions are not clear.
The pack includes a DVD with 5 workouts. Item folds for easy storage. Cost is $40 – $80 with free shipping available.
6. Stamina SpaceMate Folding Stepper
This complete stair stepper delivers a full workout with adjustable resistance and the stability of padded, ergonomic handlebars. The heavy-duty frame folds and rolls away for easy mobility and storage. This machine delivers an effective cardiovascular workout in a convenient size. The range of motion may be too short for taller users, and the pedals can be painful on the feet.
Weight limit is 250 pounds. Includes a battery-operated monitor and floor protectors for added safety. Some assembly is required. Cost ranges from $80 – $130 with free shipping available on some orders. There is a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty on the frame and a 90-day warranty on parts.
5. Wagan EL2273 Mini Stepper Master
This compact stepper machine provides a straightforward motion workout for a great value. The product is great for small spaces. While there is a wide range of resistance levels for beginners to experienced exercisers, there is little range of motion and the product may not be suitable for heavier users.
Weight capacity is 250 pounds. Height is 3.5 feet with the handles raised. The pack includes a digital display monitor and tools for assembly. Cost is $80 – $90 with free shipping available.
4. FP1 Exercise Stepper Mini Step Swivel Elliptical Trainer
This personal trainer is small but durable and delivers varying levels of intensity, using free range of motion and twisting action. Item is built for all sizes and shapes of exercisers. When combined with free weights and the added twisting motion, users can tone muscles in their upper body and abdominals. Beginners may be overly challenged, because the resistance levels cannot be adjusted.
The weight capacity of this machine is 220 pounds. A battery-operated LCD monitor is included. Cost is $70 – $100 and free shipping is available. This product arrives fully assembled.
3. Gold’s Gym Mini Stepper
The simple, convenient stepper machine provides an efficient workout to tone legs and hips in a low-impact and cost-effective way. This machine is great for physical therapy and quick workouts, and the portable and sturdy construction make it a good value. Since there are no handles for support, some users may have difficulty balancing on this machine.
The machine’s weight capacity is up to 250 pounds. The pack includes also a monitor to track steps, time and calories. Cost is $50 – $60 with free shipping available.
2. Sunny Folding Climbing Stepper
This machine combines the cardiovascular benefits of a stepper with the upward motion of a stair climber. It tones muscles with minimum stress on joints. The multiple tension selections make it accessible to all fitness levels. Some consumers have complained that the hydraulic cylinders can leak oil. Smaller users may have trouble moving the pedals as the default resistance is too high at lighter body weights.
The weight capacity is 220 pounds. A digital monitor is included. Users can adjust the hydraulic cylinders for height. Product folds for easy storage. Some assembly is required. Cost is $85 – $110 with free shipping available on some orders.
1. Sunny Twister Stepper with Handlebar
This popular stepper machine features twist action to target lower abdominals, adjustable-height steps and supportive handlebars for a powerful toning workout. Handlebars provide added balance. The pedals are oversized and slip-resistant for added stability. This machine is not as compact as other steppers and may be difficult to assemble.
The weight limit is 250 pounds. The pack includes a LCD monitor. Some assembly is required. Cost ranges from $40 – $80 with free shipping available.
We would love to hear from you. What is the best stepper machine that you have experienced and why? When you’re shopping for a new stepper, what characteristics do you look for? If you have had a chance to try any of the items in this listing, please feel free to share your thoughts and provide your review with us.