Best Mini Stepper Reviews of 2018

Best Mini Stepper Reviews

If you’re reading this for the mini stepper reviews, then you know all about the benefits of climbing stairs as an exercise, right?

Since going outdoors isn’t practical for many and the full-size stepper machines are too big and too expensive, lots of people are looking for the best mini stepper.

A stepper machine simulates stair climbing exercise, and it’s a great way to get some cardio while you also help tone your legs. The mini stepper is the miniature version that you can bring with you to the office, so you can burn as much as 100 calories an hour while you’re sitting at your desk!

Product Summary

Air Climber Express: It’s easy to use, and it’s tough enough to handle 300 pounds. However, the air makes a swooshing noise that may irritate your co-workers—or your boss!

Sunny Health & Fitness Twisting Stair Stepper: The special “twist” to this mini stopper is that it offers the use of resistance bands that also allow you to make a twisting motion. It can be a bit noisy though, especially in apartment buildings and “sensitive” neighbors.

Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster: Yes, this is extremely expensive. But it’s the toughest and the most versatile of them all, and it won’t get damaged for many years.

jFit Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical/Stepper: This is expressly designed for users who stand up or sit down when they use this stepper. The angle of the pedals and of the display can be adjusted to fit the sit down mode and the stand-up mode.

Gold’s Gym Mini Stepper: This is compact and well-built, and it can help you cardio and lose weight. You just can’t really use it properly when you’re sitting down.

Top 8 Best Mini Stepper Comparison Table

Reviews of the Best Mini Steppers

Air Climber Express

This mini stepper model first came out more than 8 years ago. The quality was not too good then but the quality control has improved over the years.

Air Climber Express

This mini stepper machine lets you do cardio and burn calories without taking as much space as a full sized stepper machine.

It’s easy enough to use this. You step on the large pedals, and the air resistance acts like you’re climbing the stairs.

You can then turn the dial to adjust the air resistance, so that you can challenge yourself more and burn more calories.

There’s also digital display that keeps count of the number of steps you’ve taken. This will require batteries, though.

It’s easy to use and it isn’t its only good point.

  • It comes with 3 DVDs so you’ll know how to use this properly.
  • The pedals are large and come with a grippy surface. Your feet will fit and they should stay in place.
  • The quality is quite good, and it won’t overheat like the other cheap machines of this kind.
  • It can accommodate up to 300 pounds.
  • It’s very small and light, so it’s very portable. You can use it even if your living room or your office is small.

There may be some ways it can be improved though:

  • It’s a bit noisy at first. People around you may need some time to get used to that swishing sound.
  • There’s some confusion as to whether you’re buying a mini stepper with a resistance cord or not. Don’t expect one. It does not come with it.
  • The grippy surface of the step pedal may not be comfy for some people who go barefoot.

Sunny Health & Fitness Twisting Stair Stepper - Most Popular Mini Stepper

Sunny Health is a rather well-known brand in the mini stepper industry, and this model is an upgrade of their previous Sunny Twist Stepper. This model is more compact, and your purchase also comes with the requisite resistance bands.

Sunny Health & Fitness Twisting Stair Stepper

By using the foot plates and the bands, you can do the twisting motions that can tighten your thighs and glutes. You can move side to side as well as up and down.

In the middle at the top of the foot plate, you also have meter display. It shows you various information like the time you’ve spent using it, the number of overall steps you’ve taken, the number of strides per minute, and the number of calories you’ve used up.

Here are its other benefits:

  • You can adjust the resistance very easily. There’s a knob on the bottom that you turn so you get greater tension.
  • They used heavy duty steel for the build.
  • The large footplates come with a slip-resistant surface.
  • It’s easy enough to set up when you get it. It’s basically pre-assembled already.
  • It’s really affordable.

So what can possibly be wrong with it? Well, you still need to be aware of some issues.

  • Forget about using this while you’re sitting on your desk. To get the full benefits of the device, you have to stand on it while you’re hands are busy with the resistance bands.
  • It may be possible that the vibrations produced by the mini stepper may bother your apartment neighbors. It’s not that much though, but to be safe you may want to use it on a rug.
  • Balancing on this stepper, especially for senior users, may be difficult.

Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster - Best Quality Mini Stepper

What if you can afford an expensive stepper but you just want something smaller so you can bring it anywhere? If that’s the case, then this Xiser is the mini stepper you want.

Xiser Commercial Mini Stairmaster, Polished Alloy

This Xiser has a storied pedigree, as it’s advertised the world’s first stepping machine. Heck, you don’t just seem to climb steps with this—you can do a lot of things.

In fact, some people use this for dancing exercises and for other workouts since the resistance can be adjusted. It’s even designed to let you simulate sprinting for 60 seconds!

This thing is a beauty, and the polished alloy look promises terrific performance. But it does work as advertised, as many have found it so effective that some commercial gyms are offering it too.

This machine lets you do spinning exercises, CrossFit, and even high intensity interval training. It won’t tip and it will withstand everything you throw at it.

This thing is tough and useful as it is beautiful. How tough?

  • It can bear your weight, even if you weigh 400 pounds.
  • It comes with a 5-year warranty.
  • It’s made in the US.
  • It uses cast airframe-grade alloy. So it’s tough yet it’s portable because it lonely weighs 14 pounds.
  • Even when you pump away as hard as you can, it also won’t make a noise.

Being a commercial grade stepper, there are very few issues to be concerned about.

  • A few folks may also need to hold on to something if it’s the first time they will use a device like this. It may take some time before you won’t need to hang on to something.
  • If you use it for too long in one session, it may squeak. However, it can be easily solved by oiling it.

jFit Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical/Stepper - Best Under Desk Stair Stepper

This is a rather robust mini stepper, but it does offer some rather unique features. The main advantage here is that it’s specifically designed for both stand up mode and sit down mode.

jfit Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical Stepper w Adjustable Angle

That’s because the pedal is adjustable, so it can accommodate the different angle when you’re sitting down. So if you’re working at your desk, you can still use this and burn some calories.

The display also offers 4 functions. It can show you how long you’ve been using it, the distance you’ve “traveled”, the speed you’re going, and the number of calories you’ve burned.

The dial also turns so that you can read it whether you’re standing up and sitting down.

  • It has a handle for easier transportation.
  • It has front rollers so you’re able to move it around more quickly.
  • You can use the tension dial to adjust the resistance.

However, it does have several potential issues.

  • It’s a bit bulky at 27.2 x 15 x 11 inches.
  • It’s also quite heavy at 26.5 pounds. That’s 10 pounds heavier than some of its counterparts.
  • Some units may make some squeaking noises, and that’s sometimes from the wheels that the pedals move on. But before you return it, it may be possible to solve the problem by applying just a little oil.

Gold’s Gym Mini Stepper

This is one of the most highly regarded models of mini stepper for cardio in the market today. That’s easily seen in the constant stream of rave reviews it receives.

Gold's Gym Mini Stepper

It pretty much has all the basic characteristics and features you need from a mini stepper. You just step on it and you get the low-impact cardio workout you need.

It also has a display too. It monitors the steps you take per minute and for the entire workout, the total time you’ve spent on it, and the number of calories you’ve burned.

This stepper measures just 16 by 13 by 7 inches and weighs about 13 pounds.

But it’s well-built, and it’s rated for 250 pounds.

  • It’s compact so storage isn’t a problem.
  • Bringing it to the office shouldn’t be a problem either, since it’s lightweight.
  • It’s also quite affordable.

So is there anything wrong with it?

  • Well, some people weigh a lot more than 250 pounds these days.
  • Newcomers may have to hold on to tabletops at first before they can get the hang of this.
  • You can’t really use this effectively when you’re sitting down.

Mini Steppers Buying FAQs

Here are some questions that are commonly asked before purchasing a mini stepper. 

Why Should I Get a Mini Stepper?

There several good reasons to buy a mini stepper.

  • You can use it to burn calories.
  • With some mini stepper models, you can even exercise while you’re sitting at your desk.
  • A mini stepper simulates stair climbing exercise without the need to actually have stairs.
  • A mini stepper is smaller and lighter than a full-size stepper, so storage, portability, and space requirements are easier.

Should I Get a Mini Stepper or a Bosu Ball?

In a mini stepper vs. bosu ball debate, the bosu ball does have a lot of fervent fans. After all, it’s affordable and very versatile.

However, in some ways the mini stepper is better.

  • There’s really not much point to using the bosu ball while you’re sitting at your desk.
  • There’s a slightly greater risk of injury for bosu balls.
  • It takes a while to inflate a bosu ball. In contrast, a mini stepper is easier to set up.
  • Most good mini steppers have displays that let you see your current workout progress.

How many calories are burned on a mini stair stepper?

According to the Health Status calorie calculator, an average person who weights 150 pounds will burn about 120 calories after 15 minutes of exercise on a stair stepper. To increase the intensity and burn more calories, you can consider wearing a weighted vest or wrist/ankle weights while exercising.

Our Best Mini Stepper Recommendations

So which one do we recommend? It all depends on your circumstances.

If you can afford the Xiser Mini Stairmaster, get it. This lets you do many different types of exercises and it’s the most durable mini stair stepper/climber of them all.

If you’re planning to use the mini stepper only when you’re standing up, our vote goes to the Gold’s Gym Mini Stepper.

However, if you’re looking for a sit down mini stepper, the jFit Mini Stepper is an excellent choice.

All these mini steppers are reputedly durable and they should last you at least a year, while the Xiser will probably last you at least a decade.