best mini steppers

The Best Mini Steppers for Home or Office

The best thing about a stepper is that you can get a great cardiovascular workout without having to build a gym in your home. Some of the best mini stepper machines come with additional options that can make your workout more interesting.

Though these exercise machines aren’t exactly new, they are becoming more and more popular as some models offer a way to exercise while remaining seated. You can potentially burn calories while still remaining seated at your desk at work, and reach your fitness goals.

In this guide, I will break down some of the top mini stepper machines you can buy, highlighting some of their noteworthy features. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find the mini stepper that is best for your home gym.

My Best Mini Stepper Reviews for 2023

1. Sunny Health and Fitness Adjustable Mini Stair Stepper Exercise Equipment

Which are the best mini steppers of 2023? We recommend this model:

The Sunny Health and Fitness Adjustable Mini Stepper is a great, high quality choice to either for a body workout at the office or in your home gym. It comes with a monitor with which you can track your steps per minute, time and calories burned. This model is very similar to the Sunny Health Fitness Twister Stepper.


It comes with a height adjustment knob so you can customize your experience. Constructed with heavy-duty steel, you’ll be able to use this mini equipment without fear of breakage.


This Health Fitness mini stepper works your body in a twisting motion. You can move up and down and side to side, toning the thighs and glutes. You can maximize the efficiency of your workout with the LCD display and the anti-slip, large footplates.


And one of the best things about this stepper exercise machine is that everything comes pre-assembled. Here are some of the stepper features: 

  • Folds: No
  • Weight Capacity: 220 lbs
  • Stepper Weight: 14.7 lbs
  • Fitness Monitor: Yes

PROS

  • It provides a relatively quiet workout.
  • You can keep it at work for a convenient workout
  • Great fitness value for the price.

CONS

  • It can be hard on the knees as you have to maintain balance during use.
  • Limited range of motion.

2. Wagan EL 2273 Mini Steppers

Unlike some other mini-steppers, the Wagan EL 2273 Mini Stepper comes with soft grip handlebars you can use to support yourself during use. Along with the handles comes a mini digital display with which you can monitor your step count, calories, and workout time.


Occupying less than 1.5 feet, this machine is easy to assemble and provides a workout equally effective to larger machines. With a lightweight and compact steel frame, this stepper is stable, solid, durable, and makes great use of space.


You can adjust the step height, and use it wherever you have a little space, be it your home, office, or dormitory. These units provide a great cardio workout choice for all ages. You can get a body workout no matter where you go.

  • Folds: No
  • Weight Limit: 225 lbs
  • Stepper Weight: 24.4 lbs
  • Fitness Monitor: Yes

PROS

  • Great for getting in a small workout from home or the office.
  • Great fitness value for the price.

CONS

  • Instructions could be difficult to follow when building.
  • It can be squeaky during use.

3. GOPLUS Mini Stepper Air Climber

The GOPLUS Mini Stepper includes a hydraulic resistance design. With non-slip pedals, the buffer and steadiness protect your knees and ankles from injury. You can adjust the height of the pedals to your desired positions.  This mini stepper with resistance bands enables you to also get an upper body workout and burn calories.


The mini monitor at the top displays all of the relevant details you might require for your workout, including rep count, time, scan, and calories burned.


With the two included elastic bands, you can achieve some strength training while using this machine. Tone the muscles of your legs while working your waist, buttocks, and arms. The heavy-duty steel construction should gives these units longevity.

  • Max User Weight: 200 lbs 
  • Folds: No
  • Stepper Weight: 16 lbs
  • Fitness Monitor: Yes

PROS

  • The machine comes pre-assembled.
  • Easy to move around

CONS

  • Can be noisy during use.

4. Sunny Health Fitness Twist Stepper

The most notable features on this stepper are the handlebars to support you while you engage in your workouts. With something to hold on to, you won’t have to worry about losing balance and falling like you might with other models. 


Because you have this support, the Sunny Health and Fitness Twist Stepper allows you to make a twisting motion to tone your core and legs without putting too much pressure on your joints.


The large foot pedals are textured to prevent slippage during workouts. The heavy-duty construction with each hydraulic cylinder provides longevity so you can use this stepper for years to come.


This Sunny health fitness twister stepper also includes an LCD monitor where you can keep track of items such as elapsed time, calories, and number of steps. This Sunny Health Fitness Mini is a great choice for people who are just getting started exercising. 

  • Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Portable Stepper Weight: 28 lbs
  • Folds: No
  • Fitness Monitor: Yes

PROS

  • Compact portable stepper machine
  • Great for building calves
  • Easy to assemble

CONS

  • May not be ideal for larger users
  • For casual workouts not high intensity

5. Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer

I have recommended these trainers many times in my other reviews because they’re such a good choice for low-impact cardio exercise and toning the lower body. These units can be used while sitting or standing positions. You can also pedal them forward or in reverse motion.  


This Stamina InMotion exercise mini stepper is great to use while reading a book, watching videos, or even playing video games. This model includes large, textured pedals to prevent slippage during use. It also has a multifunction monitor to track your fitness details as you pedal through your workout.


The included scan function allows you to see all of your data periodically. You can modify the tension knob to adjust the resistance of your good workout. This unit comes in three different colors, including orange, green, and silver.

  • User Weight: 26 lbs
  • Folds: No
  • Fitness Monitor: Yes

PROS

  • The Stamina InMotion is easy to setup and use
  • Usable in standing and sitting positions
  • Compact with a small footprint

CONS

  • Not a light machine for some users looking to carry
  • Resistance may not be strong enough for some users

Mini steppers are one way that you can get a great workout without taking up too much space in your home with equipment. There are many different models all coming with additional options that can make your workout experience more unique.

Mini steppers are becoming more popular as a solution for people to get some exercise while sitting. You can exercise while watching television or playing video games, or even while seated at a desk at work. 

So, let’s get started!

What Kind of Workouts does a Mini Stepper Provide?

A mini stepper is meant to provide the same kind of exertion on your muscles that comes from climbing stairs. It’s been said before that climbing the stairs is a better choice than always taking the elevator. It follows that if we’re living a relatively sedentary lifestyle, a stepper would be one way to get this kind of home exercise.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, everyone should get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. A mini stepper can definitely help you out with that. 

Steppers are also ideal for helping you to get some exercise if you live in an area where it is difficult to exercise outside because of excess wind, rain, or snow. 

Investing in a mini stair stepper and using it routinely in your home is also one way you can get some exercise without having to pay a membership fee to a gym every month. This might also keep you from creating excuses for not working out. It’s much more difficult to procrastinate when you’ve got the equipment right there.

Mini Stepper Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes
  • Leg strengthening
  • Builds muscles in your legs
  • Tones your lower body
  • Improves your immune system
  • Promotes weight loss, over time
  • Boosts the health of your heart and lungs

Types of Mini Steppers

There are three different types of steppers.

  • Traditional Steppers – These simply go up and down and match the stair climbing motion closely. 
  • Compact Mini Ellipticals - These work with a more circular motion, like that you might find on a large elliptical machine. Instead of doing the arm movements and rotating your legs, you only do a slight rotation of your feet in a stepping motion while your arms remain more or less stationary.
  • Elliptical Steppers –  These give you more of the rotation but are still smaller than a real elliptical because you only use your feet. 

The type you should buy will depend on a few different factors. For example, if you have trouble with your balance, you might want to stick with a standard mini stepper, making the regular up and down motion. 

Handlebars

Trying out mini steppers with handlebars, you might find that they’re quite helpful. It just depends on whether you’re going to use them regularly or not. 

Some people who struggle with balance issues may always want the handlebars there. If you have a problem with balance, you’re going to want something to hold onto. A convenient middle ground are mini steppers with detachable handlebars. 

Adjustability and Resistance Bands

If you want to reduce the intensity of your workout so that you can go faster, you can with most mini stepper models. But if you want to add resistance, so that you can tone muscles and lose weight, you’re going to want a higher level of tension in your mini stair stepper with resistance bands. 

Some steppers have adjustable step height and resistance dials for an intense workout. Others have resistance bands you have to set yourself to increase or reduce intensity. Either way, if an adjustable step height is something you need, you need to check the model when buying. 

Fitness Tracking

Most of the steppers on this page have monitors, but many don’t. So if you want to be able to track your progress, with details such as distance traveled, steps taken, calories burned, and more, you should look for a machine that comes with a digital display. 

Some steppers only record your current session, while others will retain your data for multiple sessions, so you can track your progress. The higher-end models often include Bluetooth support so you can sync the onboard computer with your phone.

Mini Stepper Before and After

Monica Brooks from Minnesota, age 48, lost 22 pounds over nearly seven months using her Mini Stepper consistently in conjunction with a healthy diet.

before and after

Are Mini Steppers bad for knees?

Climbing and running shouldn’t damage your knees if you’re in shape. This kind of exercise is good for your cardiovascular health and your muscles. If you have weak knees, you’ll want to strengthen the muscles in the thighs and around the knees.

Are Mini Steppers effective?

Yes, the best mini steppers can help you lose weight, but you have to use it routinely. Because it is a low-impact workout, you might not burn as many calories as say, using a treadmill. But making a habit of using your mini stepper will yield positive fitness results.

How does a Mini Stepper work?

One of the most appealing aspects of a mini stepper is that it is relatively simple. It has fewer parts, which means it is less likely to fall into disrepair. 

Mimicking the natural motion of walking, the pedals on a mini stepper rise and fall. Unlike an elliptical or an exercise bike, they do not move in a kind of orbital motion. Flowing through the two cylinders or pistons, hydraulic oil provides the resistance to your workout. 

Though mini stepper machines may not all look the same, they all work as according to the same basic principles. Make sure frame of the machine is large enough so you can freely move your feet, but small enough to have a compact footprint. This kind of mini stair stepper is typically purchased to be a space-saving solution. 

Why are some harder to assemble?

The best mini steppers 2021 have different kinds of features, and the features that most commonly make assembly harder are computer monitors. If you have to connect wires or tighten bolts, that might increase the complexity. But most of the time step machines are faster than most other kinds of fitness equipment to assemble. Though they don’t have many parts, they still have to be properly positioned, aligned, and tightened to work properly. 

Is this all I need to do for my legs?

No, mini steppers are unfortunately not enough. The purpose of mini steppers is for users to get that much needed exercise to avoid being sedentary for too long. While a mini stepper might help you increase cardiovascular fitness, and slow illnesses, you’re going to want to do a number of other exercises to build muscles in your legs.

Some of these exercises include items such as squats, leg presses, leg extensions, calf raises, lunges, and other kinds of bodyweight exercises.

Shouldn’t all steppers have handlebars?

It’s not absolutely necessary. You may decide to get a machine with handlebars if you have control issues or problems keeping balanced. Most stepper units these days have features to prevent you from falling, such as textured surfaces, wide footbed, a full range of motion, and raised edges. These kinds of items should keep you upright and enjoying your workout. 

Will my stepper need maintenance?

Yes, but it shouldn’t be as challenging to take care of as other kinds of exercise equipment. You can simply wipe it down with a rag, or use a brush to clean away the dust and dirt. You can cover your mini stepper machine when not in use with a towel or sheet. You might also keep the machine under a bed to prevent it from getting dusty.

Can you do aerobic and anaerobic exercise with a mini stepper machine?

Yes. Changing your position on the machine will change which kind of exercise you’re doing on a stepper at any given time. If you workout standing tall and straight, you’re doing aerobic exercise.

However, if you bend your knees, only using your lower body, you’re doing anaerobic exercise. If you’re interested in a more intense kind of calorie-burning exercise, you might look into getting a spin bike. 

What is anaerobic vs. aerobic exercise?

Any short burst of physical exercise, otherwise known as anaerobic exercise, makes it so your body’s oxygen demand surpasses oxygen supply. It isn’t meant to replace ordinary exercise, it’s only effective when combined with more traditional strength training routines and cardio.

 Aerobic is any kind of cardio that you do for more than a few minutes, preferably more than 15 minutes. Most people start slow and increase intensity over time.

  • If you’re looking for other alternatives for compact cardio, here is a list of the best small home gym equipment.
  • Need an elliptical machine? Click here for my list of mini elliptical machines.
  • If you want to scale up and buy a full-sized fitness stepper, read my roundup review of the best steppers of the year here.
  • If you're going to need some suggestions on how to get the most out of your fitness stepper, check my guide on best stepper workouts.