If you want to exercise but find going out to the gym for your workout impractical or expensive or if you find that having a full-sized stepper is too big and unwieldy for your home, then the mini stepper is the best bet for you.
Basically, a stepper is an exercise machine that replicates stair climbing and is a fantastic way to tone your legs, thighs, calves and hips, while also getting some low-impact cardio exercise going.
A mini stepper is essentially a miniature version of the full-sized stepper that you can easily use and store in your home, carry with you wherever you go and also use it at your office while you are working away at your desk and burn calories at the same time.
Now, isn’t that really something?
Check our comparison table. Our Buyer’s Guide section below the reviews will provide you with more in-depth information about mini stepping machines.
|Mini Stepper||Size||Weight||Weight Capacity|
|Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster|
|N/A||14 LBS||400 LBS|
|Sunny Health & Fitness Twisting Stair Stepper|
(Loaded with Features)
|19" x 17" x 8"||38.5 LBS||250 LBS|
|Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper with Handlebars||19" x 17" x 44"||19 LBS||220 LBS|
|Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper With Resistance Bands||16" x 15" x 9"||15 LBS||220 LBS|
|Gold’s Gym Mini Stepper|
(Best Sit-down Stepper)
|16" x 13" x 7"||13.1 LBS||250 LBS|
|jfit Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical/Stepper||27.2" x 15" x 11"||26.5 LBS||250 LBS|
|Stamina In-Stride Pro Electronic Stepper||16.2" x 12.1" x 12.2"||17 LBS||250 LBS|
|Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer||24" x 20" x 12"||17 LBS||250 LBS|
If you are looking for a high-quality, top of the line stepper and the cost is not a showstopper, then you can probably consider the Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster.
The model has a fantastic build quality and has a stylish airframe aluminum alloy construction that is strong and durable. All the parts of the product are cast molded, which essentially means that the stepper does not have any welding spots and weak points. At the same time, the machine is also very light and portable.
The hydraulic configuration of the model allows you to do steady state or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. It is equipped with a resistance knob that allows you to adjust the training resistance levels and you have three levels available – walk, run and high speed.
One of the most highly rated twisters available in the market is the Sunny Health & Fitness Twisting Stair Stepper. This model is loaded with features – it has a twist function, step height that is adjustable and to make your workouts tougher, you have the variable tension feature.
The knob at the bottom of the unit allows you to adjust the resistance of the machine, so that you are able to get more tension. It is equipped with large-sized, anti-slip footplates for greater stability and security.
The unit is compact and has a weight capacity of up to 250 lbs. It is portable and can be easily stored in a closet or under the bed once you have finished exercising.
This model is a great option if you are looking for a stepper with a handlebar. The exercise machine has a strong steel construction that makes it heavy duty and durable.
It has an LCD monitor that displays the calories burned, step count, time and it also has a scan function. The height of the unit is adjustable and the handlebar provides balance when you’re working out.
The twisting action of the machine allows a great low-impact cardiovascular workout to burn calories and helps you tone your thighs, hips, calves and buttocks while working out.
The Sunny stepper is equipped with slip-resistant footplates that help you maintain your balance and keeps you safe while you exercise. It is very easy to assemble.
The model is equipped with very strong rubber resistance bands that stimulate the exercises done using dumbbells. The resistance bands help to raise your heart rate. This stepper can help you burn more calories and you can also workout your upper body.
The machine is equipped with adjustable tension and an LCD monitor. Although the model is compactly built, it can support a user of up to 220 lbs. It has extra-large footpads that offer greater stability and safety. The stepper is very easy to set up and it is portable and easy to store after use.
If you are looking for a basic stepper without any fancy features than you can opt for the Gold’s Gym Mini Stepper. It has a high-quality construction is durable and quite inexpensive.
The model can support a maximum weight of around 250 lbs. It does not have any time restrictions for use and you can use it as long as you want.
The product is equipped with a basic LCD monitor that provides data about your workout like steps per minute, total time spent and calories burned. The unit is compact in build, is lightweight and is easy to carry around and also store after use.
The jfit Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical/Stepper is very robust and durable and has several unique features. The model has an adjustable pedal which makes it suitable for you to use the stepper both when you’re sitting down or standing up. It is great for burning calories even while you’re sitting at your desk and working.
It has four functions – distance traveled, time of use, speed and number of calories burned. The dial can also be turned in such a way that you can read it when sitting down or standing up.
The unit has a handle that facilitates easy transportation and the front rollers allow you to move the machine quickly and easily. The tension dial can be used to adjust the resistance.
This is a lightweight and compact exerciser and weighs just around 20 pounds. The model is equipped with two smooth hydraulic cylinders that provides resistance. There are 2 rubber resistance tubes that are connected to the stepper, which enables you to exercise your upper body.
The product also comes with a multi-functional fitness monitor that is battery-operated. This stylish unit delivers a great workout at a cost-effective price.
The anti-skid foot pedals offer greater comfort and security and make sure that your feet don’t slip while you exercise. The built-in computerized monitor enables you to track your exercise progress.
This elliptical trainer allows you to get an effective and safe workout and is fantastic for a strength and low-impact cardio workout. The Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer can be used both in the standing as well as in the sitting position. The stepper comes with resistance bands that allow you a complete upper body workout along with lower body exercise.
The model is very durable as it is made of steel and can withstand plenty of use. It is equipped with an electronic monitor that helps you track the distance covered, time of exercise, calories burned and the number of strides.
You can choose the intensity of the workout with the help of the tension control. The exercise unit has bi-directional foot pedals which allow you to work your muscles from various angles.
A mini stepper is operated manually and has two pedals which move in an elliptical fashion (up and down) and there are some models which come with handles or resistance bands for added support.
When you place both your feet on the foot pedals of the unit and force them downwards in a stepping motion, it stimulates the action of climbing stairs or climbing uphill. And you need to exert some kind of resistance as you move your legs while “climbing stairs” on the stepper.
The repetitive movement on the machine gets your lungs and heart pumping and provides an aerobic workout that helps to enhance your endurance and also your cardiovascular health. Exercising on a mini stepper can help to burn calories and you can lose weight too.
There are many types of models available. While some can be used only when you are standing upright, there are some models that you can use under your desk while you are seated. An under the desk stepper is quite efficient, however, you will get more benefits if you use a model meant for upright use.
The mini stepper helps to exercise the muscles in your legs i.e. your hamstrings, glutes, calves, quads, etc. Not only does help in a good lower body workout, the stepping action gets your heart rate going and aids in low-impact cardiovascular exercise too.
Exercising on a mini stepper provides a moderate intensity, low-impact workout. It is a fantastic way to burn calories all through the day. The energy that you expend while working out is akin to brisk walking.
Using the exercise machine under your desk while you’re working or watching TV can help to burn around 200 calories for every hour of use. And, if you are working out vigorously when standing upright on the stepper, you can burn even more calories.
While burning calories if you watch what you eat, you can lose weight pretty quickly. For more calorie burn and enhanced cardiovascular health, it is recommended that you use the machine for at least 30 minutes in a day.
The best part of exercising using a mini stepper is that it allows you to workout for extended periods of time without really much strain on your joints. Most of the models are equipped with a calorie counter that allows you to track your calorie expenditure.
However, a point to note is that the mini stepper does not quite reach the same calorie burning power as the full-sized stepper which burns around 450 calories in an hour.
Mini stepping mahines are fairly effective for working your lower body and toning your legs, thighs and hips. Exercising on the mini stepper can help to tone the soleus and gastrocnemius, the muscles comprising the calves, the tensor fasciae latae, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles present in the glutes, quadriceps and hamstring muscles in the thighs.
Usually, the core muscles of the body are not exercised. However, by maintaining proper posture and form, you can exercise your core i.e. by keeping your spine straight, engaging your abdominal muscles by keeping them firm and contracted and using your core to maintain your balance on the stepper. If you use resistance bands or dumbbells while exercising, you can get a full body workout.
Using a mini stepper to workout can be quite safe on your knees if they are healthy. As such, climbing stairs is the best exercise that can strengthen the muscles in your leg, support the knee and can also help to prevent knee problems.
And since a mini stepping machine essentially stimulates climbing stairs, it can help to achieve the same objective. It provides a low-impact exercise that strengthens the muscles and bones and is also beneficial for cardiovascular health.
A mini stepper uses the quadriceps, hamstring, hip flexor and calf muscles. Strengthening the leg muscles can help to reduce stress on the knees, as the leg muscles support the knee joint. The exercise machine helps to support the knee by strengthening all the surrounding muscles.
Also, the repetitive low-impact motion of the knees while using the machine stimulates the production of joint fluid that helps to lubricate and nourish the joint and also eliminates the toxic wastes.
However, if you already suffer from any knee problems such as pain or some sort of an injury, then the mini stepper may not be the right choice for you. If you have any knee problems, then use exercise equipment that does not impact the knees. Also, if you suffer from arthritis, using one can cause knee pain. Overuse of the stepper can also cause pain or injury in your knees, even if they are healthy.
The best part of buying a mini stepping machine is that it has several benefits despite its reduced size. Some of the advantages are:
Once you have made up your mind to buy a mini stepper for your workout, you must consider a few aspects of the machine before finally buying one. These exercising machines are fairly inexpensive; however, if you opt for one with more features and higher quality, the price may go up.
And, the price is not the only factor you should consider, there are other things you must evaluate before making your final decision:
You should consider a model that is a convenient size and will fit well in your home, in your closet, under your bed or under your desk in your office. Also, you must look at a model that is lightweight and not too heavy. The machine should be portable i.e. you should be able to carry it easily wherever you go.
A textured pedal will provide stability and prevent you from slipping despite how hard or fast you pedal. Ideally, choose a model that has textured or anti-slip and oversized pedals that provide good grip and balance, so that you don’t slip off when exercising or injure yourself in any way.
Since the weight capacity of the model is an important factor to consider, ensure that you check the owner’s manual before buying the machine. If your weight exceeds the maximum weight capacity of the unit, look for more durable options that are made of durable materials that can support your weight or opt for another exercise machine.
There are many types of mini steppers out there and you have models that are packed with various features. There are steppers that offer a twisting action, units equipped with handlebars, with resistance bands, commercial models and even motorized mini steppers! You should evaluate the various features before deciding the ones that you will use and help you get the most out of your workout.
Most of the models available are manual and are equipped with pedals that must be operated manually. However, you also have motorized options that you can consider. Motorized machines are smoother to operate and more ergonomic compared to the manual ones. However, the motorized models are pricier and more expensive than manual ones.
When you are looking for a stepper to bring into your home, you may find simple steppers, twister steppers and mini ellipticals. It can all be extremely confusing. While mini ellipticals offer a completely different style of workout, regular steppers and twisters are more similar.
The twister uses more thigh muscles when the foot pedals are depressed. This motion creates an additional stress on the inner and outer thigh muscles, giving a deeper and more intensive workout to your thighs when compared to a regular up and down stepper.
However, before you consider going in for a twister, evaluate how well-coordinated and how good your balance is and if you plan on doing other exercises at the same time while using the machine. If you want a better workout for your thighs, then you could opt for the twister stepper rather than a simple one.
The question often is whether you should consider buying a mini stepper with or without handlebars. Both simple regular steppers as well as twisters are available with handlebars, which is a nice addition that offers additional safety if you are a bit uncoordinated or unbalanced on your feet.
A regular simple stepper may not really require handlebars if your balance is good or until you’re confident in using the machine without any support, you can use a chair back or table for support.
If you’re looking for complete body workout and want to workout your upper body while exercising your lower body, then you could consider a mini stepper equipped with resistance or tension bands. Usually, the bands are attached to the base of the unit and offer increased stability if you are a bit unbalanced. You can additionally also use the resistance bands for arm curls while stepping.
However, it is a good idea to check the resistance offered by the bands and their durability. Another option for an upper body workout would be to use dumbbells while stepping.
Now that you have looked at all the pros and cons of a mini stepper and understood the factors that you must consider when buying one, you are all set to buy your own mini stepping machine and begin working out your legs and get them into perfect shape.