10 Best Stair Climber & Stepper Machines (2024 Updated)

Products Considered 26
Products
Considered
Hours of Research 102
Hours
of Research
Reviews Examined 82
Reviews
Examined
Experts Interviewed 10
Experts
Interviewed
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: June 20, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Christiana Mikesch, CPT
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

Stair climbers are one of my top recommendations for our clients who require a low impact machine that specifically focuses on the lower body.

If you’ve had any problems with treadmills or an elliptical machine, then it’s most likely down to the strain those machines might put on your ankles, knees, and hips.

Unfortunately, we’ve encountered a lot of stair steppers that were really not fit for purpose and could do more damage than good.

So, we decided to put 30 different models to the test to see which ones would be most suitable for a home gym.

The Best Stair Climber Machines

Editor's Choice
Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer
Body Power
Rated 4.8/5
Check Current Price
2nd Best Choice
Maxi Stair Climber
Maxi
Rated 4.7/5
Check Current Price
3rd Best Choice
Jacob_s Ladder Gronk Edition Step Machine
Jacob's Ladder
Rated 4.7/5
Check Current Price

Our Top Stair Climbers (June 2024)

1 - Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer (Best Overall & Flexibility)

Rated 4.8/5
4.9
Durability
4.6
Price
4.7
Quality
4.8
User Ratings
4.8
Product Effectiveness
Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer
  • Dimensions : 42"L x 24"W x 62"H
  • Maintenance : Easy
  • Design : 2-in-1 elliptical and stepper, compact
  • Warranty : Yes (1 year)
  • Premium materials : Yes (steel and plastic)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easily switch between stepper and elliptical
  • Easy to adjust resistance levels with large buttons next to the LCD monitor
  • Positive reviews about the system providing a smooth resistance level

Cons

  • It’s a bulkier design that may not work for tight spaces

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Those needing a flexible workout machine
  • Space-conscious consumers

Who is it not for?

  • Users with very tight spaces

Final Verdict

The Body Power 2-in-1 offers excellent versatility with quality construction, making it a top pick for anyone looking to combine elliptical and stepper functions. It's less suited for very compact areas.

For the most flexibility in your workout routines, we’d recommend the Body Power 2-in-1. It has been designed to allow you to switch between a stair-climbing machine and elliptical with a pretty simple adjustment.

There’s also plenty of flexibility, with 8 different levels to switch between.

We found that the large buttons next to the screen make this easy and don’t require you to get off the equipment to make a manual adjustment.

You can check out the best budget ellipticals here.

Just keep in mind that this might not be the most suitable if you don’t have enough space to spare.

If you are tight on space, you can check out our list of compact rowing machines.

2 - Maxi Stair Climber (Best With Fitness App)

Rated 4.7/5
4.8
Durability
4.7
Price
4.6
Quality
4.7
User Ratings
4.8
Product Effectiveness
Maxi Stair Climber
  • Dimensions : 38.93"L x 27.95"W x 85.31"H
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Design : Vertical climber, compact
  • Warranty : Yes (1 year)
  • Premium materials : Yes (Cold-rolled Steel)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Functions well as a vertical climber to target your upper body
  • Good weight capacity of up to 240 pounds
  • Comes with a fitness app to plan and track your progress

Cons

  • Timer display seems to be a bit too low to easily read

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Full body workout seekers
  • Users who appreciate tech integration

Who is it not for?

  • Those preferring a simple, no-frills machine

Final Verdict

The Maxi Stair Climber stands out with its app integration and solid build, ideal for tech-savvy users seeking a comprehensive fitness solution. Not the best choice for simplicity lovers.

This is more of a vertical climber, which may allow you to work on your whole body during one exercise routine.

Despite its reasonably compact design, it should still be suitable for anyone up to 240 pounds.

There is a fitness app that it may integrate with, which could be helpful to better plan your weekly workout routine.

One thing we noted was that some people mentioned that the timer display was a bit too low to easily glance at during a workout.

3 - Jacob's Ladder Gronk Edition Step Machine (Best Durability)

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Durability
4.7
Price
4.7
Quality
4.6
User Ratings
4.7
Product Effectiveness
Jacob_s Ladder Gronk Edition Step Machine
  • Dimensions : 76"L x 31.25"W x 65.5"H
  • Maintenance : Regular maintenance needed
  • Design : Rugged, for intense use
  • Warranty : Specific warranty details available online
  • Premium materials : Yes (Sturdy construction)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • May keep track of workout data to see your results
  • Unique and solid steel design to make it more stable
  • Max weight capacity of 300 pounds

Cons

  • It’s quite a bulky design that will require some space

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Those seeking durability and intense workouts
  • Users needing heavy-duty equipment

Who is it not for?

  • Small space owners

Final Verdict

Jacob's Ladder offers robust construction and unique features for serious fitness enthusiasts. Its size and price might be a barrier for those with limited space.

This vertical climber is the real deal, and I’ve used one in gyms before.

It could be a great way to work on your entire body with a lot less strain on all of your joints.

It’s a completely different style from the others, but that may be an advantage to work your muscles just a bit harder.

There’s also a feature for digital workout-tracking so that you might get a better idea of how well your progress is going.

Just make sure that you take some precise measurements in your home gym before you place an order.

4 - Aceshin Vertical Climber Steppers

Rated 4.6/5
4.7
Durability
4.6
Price
4.6
Quality
4.6
User Ratings
4.5
Product Effectiveness
Aceshin Vertical Climber Steppers
  • Dimensions : 11.22"L x 6.1"W x 63.22"H
  • Maintenance : Easy
  • Design : Foldable, space-saving
  • Warranty : Yes (1 year)
  • Premium materials : Yes (Alloy Steel)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • May work well for upper and lower body workouts
  • Simple display shows time, steps, and calories burned
  • Maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds

Cons

  • Some people found the stepping pedals a bit small

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • People targeting upper and lower body
  • Those looking for a basic, functional machine

Who is it not for?

  • Users wanting advanced features

Final Verdict

Aceshin provides a straightforward and effective workout experience, suitable for users who focus on both upper and lower body training. It falls short for those seeking high-tech features.

The Aceshin Vertical Climber is another good choice if you need to focus more on a full body workout.

But there are also static handles on the frame in case you don’t want to add additional movements.

The screen is basic, but that might be an advantage as it’s not a distraction with tons of data that you don’t need.

It might also be a good choice for heavier people as this product has a capacity of 300 pounds.

The one negative about it is that the stepping pedals don’t seem large enough, which may not be suitable for larger feet.

5 - Doufit Stepper for Exercise Machine (Best for Beginners & With Resistance Bands)

Rated 4.6/5
4.5
Durability
4.8
Price
4.5
Quality
4.6
User Ratings
4.6
Product Effectiveness
Doufit Stepper for Exercise Machine
  • Dimensions : Currently unavailable
  • Maintenance : No
  • Design : Foldable, includes resistance bands and handlebar
  • Warranty : Currently unavailable
  • Premium materials : No

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fully collapsible into a small package for easy storage
  • Comes with some resistance bands to work your upper body as well
  • The simple display may provide important workout session data

Cons

  • It’s a basic model with no resistance settings

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Beginners in fitness
  • Small apartment dwellers

Who is it not for?

  • Advanced fitness enthusiasts

Final Verdict

Doufit Stepper is perfect for newcomers and those with limited living space, offering easy storage and decent functionality. It may not satisfy the demands of more experienced fitness users.

This is another stair stepper machine that might be suitable for anyone living in a small apartment.

What we liked most is that despite being a basic and affordable model, you may still be able to keep track of things like steps per minute, calories burned, and time for each workout.

It also may be helpful if you want to work on your arms, shoulders, and chest, as it includes exercise bands that could provide a lot more flexibility.

Just keep in mind that it’s a basic step machine where you won’t be able to adjust the resistance.

6 - Bowflex M3 Max Trainer (Most Versatile)

Rated 4.6/5
4.6
Durability
4.5
Price
4.6
Quality
4.5
User Ratings
4.7
Product Effectiveness
Bowflex M3 Max Trainer
  • Dimensions : 49"D x 26"W x 64.6"H
  • Maintenance : Regular
  • Design : Slim, space-saving
  • Warranty : Yes (1 year)
  • Premium materials : Yes (Metal)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Good variety of 8 resistance settings for all levels of fitness
  • Easy to read display shows vital workout info
  • Comes with a heart rate chest strap for targeted training
  • Has wheels on the front to make it easier to move

Cons

  • Doesn’t seem to integrate with apps

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Fitness enthusiasts desiring variety
  • Those who enjoy pre-set programs

Who is it not for?

  • Budget-conscious buyers

Final Verdict

Bowflex M3 is ideal for individuals looking for a variety of workout options and appreciating preset programs. Its higher cost and complexity may deter budget shoppers.

This Bowflex stair climber is a commercial-grade machine at a price point that is a lot more acceptable for a home gym setup.

What we liked about it is that you can choose from preset programs or come up with your own cardio workout intensity.

There are also a lot of positive reviews that mention that the display may show accurate data about calories burned as well as your heart rate.

The one thing we were missing with this model is an integration of the machine with some fitness apps.

7 - Sunny Health & Fitness Stair Stepper (Most Compact & Cheapest)

Rated 4.6/5
4.5
Durability
4.7
Price
4.5
Quality
4.6
User Ratings
4.5
Product Effectiveness
Sunny Health _ Fitness Stair Stepper
  • Dimensions : Unavailable
  • Maintenance : Easy
  • Design : Compact
  • Warranty : Information not provided
  • Premium materials : No

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Simple and compact design for light cardio training
  • People like that it can be folded into a small size for storage
  • Hydraulic cylinders seem to be easy to adjust while you keep moving

Cons

  • No heart monitor integration

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Budget buyers
  • People with minimal storage space

Who is it not for?

  • Those seeking a high-end experience

Final Verdict

Sunny Health & Fitness provides a budget-friendly and compact option, great for casual users with storage constraints. Not suited for those looking for luxury features.

The Sunny Health & Fitness stair stepper is possibly a good option if you have a limited budget and space.

The compact design means that you may be able to fold it down small enough to store under a bed.

Even though it might look a bit limited, you’ll still be able to choose from 12 different settings on the hydraulic cylinders.

That should be enough for a cardio workout as well as building up muscle strength.

The downside is that you’d need to get a separate app to monitor your heart rate for optimum intensity levels.

8 - Stamina Space Saving Stepper

Rated 4.5/5
4.6
Durability
4.6
Price
4.4
Quality
4.5
User Ratings
4.5
Product Effectiveness
Stamina Space Saving Stepper
  • Dimensions : 30"L x 7"W x 16.5"H
  • Maintenance : Minimal
  • Design : Foldable, compact
  • Warranty : Yes (90 days on parts, 1 year on frame)
  • Premium materials : Yes (Alloy Steel)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Suitable for people with limited space as it folds down
  • Includes resistance bands for some upper body strength training
  • Positive comments about the stability and durability

Cons

  • You can’t adjust the intensity which limits workout adjustments

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Those with very limited space
  • Moderate activity seekers

Who is it not for?

  • High-intensity workout users

Final Verdict

Stamina Stepper offers a practical solution for people with minimal workout space, supporting moderate activity levels. It's not adequate for intense training sessions.

The Stamina is possibly the smallest stair stepper machine we found that still works well enough to get you into a sweat.

It might be limited in its design, but if you just need something for moderate levels of activity, then this could be a great choice.

There’s a display that shows your progress, including time, steps per minute, and calories burned, which is pretty good at this price point.

We also saw quite a few comments that it has a stable frame to avoid any wobble.

The limiting factor is that you might outgrow this as you get fitter and can’t adjust the intensity level.

9 - ANCHEER Vertical Stair Climber

Rated 4.5/5
4.4
Durability
4.5
Price
4.4
Quality
4.5
User Ratings
4.6
Product Effectiveness
ANCHEER Vertical Stair Climber
  • Dimensions : 39.4"L x 26.8"W x 78.8"H
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Design : Foldable, adjustable height
  • Warranty : Information not provided
  • Premium materials : Yes (Steel alloy)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Simple LCD screen shows you time, speed, and calories
  • Requires very little assembly and is pretty much ready to go
  • Seems to help you stay in a natural body motion

Cons

  • Even though it’s foldable, it’s not the smallest design

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Multiple users of different heights
  • Quick setup appreciators

Who is it not for?

  • Those needing compact storage

Final Verdict

ANCHEER is a versatile climber accommodating various user heights, making it ideal for shared use. Not the best if folding and compact storage are priorities.

This equipment might be suitable if you have multiple users that are different heights. It should be adjustable enough with 5 levels to allow for a quick change.

The screen is basic but shows the relevant information about your climbing exercise so that you may be able to target specific goals for each session.

And if you don’t fancy spending a lot of time to follow complicated assembly instructions, then the 5 minutes to get this set up may be best suited to you.

The only thing we found is that even when it’s folded, it may require a bit of space to store it.

10 - ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer

Rated 4.5/5
4.6
Durability
4.4
Price
4.4
Quality
4.5
User Ratings
4.5
Product Effectiveness
ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer
  • Dimensions : 52"D x 29.25"W x 66.7"H
  • Maintenance : Regular
  • Design : Compact elliptical path with vertical stride
  • Warranty : No
  • Premium materials : Yes (Alloy Steel)

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Good LCD screen design with all the workout info in one place
  • Bluetooth integration with heart sensors
  • May allow for personalized workouts to automatically adjust the intensity

Cons

  • You’ll need quite a bit of space for this machine

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Serious home gym owners
  • Those seeking intense, varied workouts

Who is it not for?

  • Individuals with limited space

Final Verdict

ProForm Cardio provides a comprehensive, gym-quality workout for serious fitness enthusiasts looking to invest in a robust home setup. Its size and cost make it less suitable for smaller homes.

The ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer is another one of the commercial stair stepper machines that we would recommend for a more serious home gym.

If you want to replace a gym membership with a proper gym in your garage, then this is one of the products we’d put high on your list.

We liked the number of intensity levels and that you could avoid interrupting your workouts by simply pressing a button in front of you.

Just keep in mind that it’s a lot bulkier than the above equipment choices, so make sure you do some measuring first.

How We Tested Best Stair Climbers

In our mission to identify the best stair climbers on the market, we implemented a rigorous testing methodology that centered on three crucial criteria. These criteria were instrumental in assessing the overall performance and value of each stair climber. Here's a detailed insight into our evaluation process.

Durability

A stair climber is a significant investment, and its longevity is of utmost importance. We meticulously assessed the build quality, materials used, and overall sturdiness of each machine.

Any stair climber that showed signs of wear or instability under standard testing conditions was critically evaluated.

Price

While quality is a priority, getting value for money is equally essential. We compared the features and performance of each stair climber against its price point.

This approach ensured that our recommendations struck the right balance between cost and quality, catering to a diverse range of budgets.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of a stair climber determines its versatility and the range of users it can accommodate.

We tested each machine's weight limits, ensuring they met or surpassed the manufacturer's claims.

This criterion was vital to ensuring the stair climbers cater to both lightweight users and those on the heavier side without compromising on safety or performance.

Buyer’s Guide

A person looking up online to find the best stair climbing machine.

In our mission to identify the best stair climbers on the market, we implemented a rigorous testing methodology that centered on three crucial criteria. These criteria should serve as guidelines to help you purchase the right product for your needs.

1 - Durability

Investing in a durable stair climber ensures longevity and reliability. Look for machines made with high-grade steel or heavy-duty aluminum, as these materials ensure sturdiness and longevity.

Check for solid welds and quality finishes, as these are indicators of a well-built machine that can endure rigorous use.

2 - Price

While higher-priced models often offer more features and durability, there are affordable options that don't compromise on essential quality aspects.

Set a budget, but be willing to invest a bit more for better build quality, which can save money in the long run due to fewer repairs and replacements.

3 - Weight Capacity

A high weight capacity, typically around 250 to 300 pounds or more, is crucial.

This not only ensures the machine can safely support various users but also speaks to the overall strength and stability of the construction.

4 - Ease Of Use

According to an article found on the Arthritis website, a lot of people favor a stair stepper over other cardio machines and equipment because of the low impact on their joints [1]. But all that is no good if you end up having to go through complicated steps to get the adjustable settings configured right.

The more expensive options should allow you to make an adjustment by pressing a button. But even on the basic models, this should be a feature that takes less than 10 to 20 seconds to manually adjust.

5 - Display Type

I’m a total geek when it comes to technology, but I think that screens on exercise equipment might actually become a distraction. That’s why I don’t have a problem seeing something that looks more like a 1980s pocket calculator.

“To make your training effective, you should aim to get your heart rate up to a certain level during exercise—and keep it there. These ranges are commonly known as heart rate zones, and they have different potential benefits for your workout.”

 

- Reegan Von Wildenradt, health and fitness writer.

According to an article found on the Men's Health website, it does help if you get important information like total steps, time, and heart rate measurements [2]. But the less distracting it is, the better.

6 - Portability

We found two types of exercise steppers during our research.

The first type is the commercial style one that is possibly most suited if you’ve got exercise plans which involve using it every day. Your fitness levels will gradually improve when you’re working towards a significant goal.

That’s when you need more advanced features like automatically changing the intensity. And you’ll only get that with more advanced and larger products.

The second type is the adjustable and foldable product. These are more basic, but may still be effectively used to get fit and build muscle. These are the portable ones that should be easy to store under a bed or in a wardrobe.

Regardless, portability is a great feature because it allows you to take the stair climber to more places, especially if you want to maintain your routines while out on a vacation.

7 - Resistance Levels

A fit man doing stair climbing

If you’re planning to use a stair stepper just to get your body moving a bit more, then different intensity settings might not be a top priority.

But if you’re trying to get fitter gradually, lose some weight, and build up some muscles, then you need to be able to increase the intensity [3].

If you want to build leg muscles and improve cardiorespiratory health, try stair climber workouts.

Some of the above products will provide up to 24 different levels, which may be an effective way to avoid outgrowing your stepper, but those features come at a price.

But I would suggest that you buy one that has at least a couple of intensity settings, even If you’re on a budget.

8 - Integration With Apps

Some steppers will have the technology to allow you to fully integrate with more advanced smartphone apps. This could be a great way to have all your workouts in one place.

But we also like to see an integrated heart rate monitor [4].

It’s a great way to measure how much you’re pushing yourself by checking how hard your heart is pumping. It’s a great technology that might transform your fitness goals.

9 - Dimensions

A measuring tape

You have to check out the dimensions of a staircase climber even when you’re buying a foldable machine.

I used to live in a tiny apartment and bought a stepper that could be folded. But it was still very long, which meant part of it was sticking out from under the bed.

I don’t remember how often I tripped over it.

It’s a simple thing to do to avoid these problems and getting into trouble with your significant other.

The Importance of Proper Posture in Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is not just about burning calories; it's also about maintaining a natural athletic stance.

One of the standout features of some modern stair climbers, like the CLMBR, is their emphasis on promoting a natural athletic stance and spinal alignment.

This ensures that users maintain proper posture, reducing the risk of strain or injury.

When selecting a stair climber, it's essential to choose one that supports your body's natural alignment, ensuring that every step you take is not only effective but also safe.

FAQs

Two women using stair climber machines

How Long Should You Stay on a Stair Climber?

You should stay on a stair climber for at least 15 minutes to generate heat in your muscles. As you get fitter, you should increase that to about 30 minutes. This should also involve increasing the intensity level to push your muscles further.

Is a Stair Climber a Good Workout?

Yes, a stair climber is a good workout, especially if you have some problems with your leg joints. Some climbing machines also allow you to get into a ladder-type motion that may provide a full body workout.

Does a Stair Climber Burn Belly Fat?

Yes, a stair climber may burn belly fat. If you consciously engage your core body muscles, you may be able to melt away some unwanted fat. And if you gradually increase the intensity, you should be able to burn more calories and shed some weight.

Is a Stair Climber Better Than a Treadmill?

Yes, a stair climber is better than a treadmill for many people who suffer from joint issues. The low impact of the movement on a stair stepper machine still creates a strain on your muscles but should avoid stress on your joints.

Our Verdict on Best Stair Climbers

After testing a load of stair stepper machines, we decided that the Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer was going to find a permanent home in our office gym.

It has just the right features to give us more flexibility for a workout plan but doesn’t come with the price tag of a commercial product.

Our Best Stair Climber

Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer (Best Overall & Flexibility)

Body Power 2-in-1 Elliptical Stepper Trainer

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

4.9
Durability
4.6
Price
4.7
Quality
4.8
User Ratings
4.8
Product Effectiveness
Pros
  • Easily switch between stepper and elliptical
  • Easy to adjust resistance levels with large buttons next to the LCD monitor
  • Positive reviews about the system providing a smooth resistance level
Cons
  • It’s a bulkier design that may not work for tight spaces
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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Our durability score is based 3 factors including: material quality, maintenance, and warranty terms. The score is a measure of objective test results against set standards. For more information see our durability score explanation here.
Our price score is based 3 factors including: cost justification, market comparison, and overall value. The score is a subjective measurement of the product's value against its price when compared to similar products. For more information see our price score explanation here.
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How well a product works compared to the marketed claims. Our product effectiveness score is based 3 factors including: our test teams end results, time to see results, and verified user testimonials. The score is a blended calculation of objective tests against set standards and subjective community assessment. For more information see our product effectiveness score explanation here.
Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.