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The 6 best stepper machines for 2020

Stepper machines are among the most powerful pieces of exercise equipment. They are popular among athletes and health enthusiasts because they provide a demanding yet low-impact aerobic workout that helps build endurance while efficiently toning the body. In previous articles, we have researched the best pull-up bars for you and have looked into the best stationary bikes to help meet your fitness goals. Now, we have thoroughly investigated and compiled a list of our favorite stepper machines especially for those readers who are looking to increase their cardiovascular fitness and strengthen their hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calf muscles all in the comfort of their own home.

You may think of steppers as bulky and cost-prohibitive machines that are only meant for commercial use. Surely, you have seen them at gyms and thought that you could never have one of those monsters at home. But that is certainly not the case! Many stair steppers are specially designed for home use and some, such as the Sunny Health & Fitness Mini, are so compact that they can even travel with you. Although it is true that high-end steppers like the Jacob’s Ladder can be quite expensive, you will also find that our list includes equipment at every price point and for a wide range of fitness levels to help you discover the perfect stepper for your needs based on space, cost, and personal preferences.

At a glance

  • Best premium: Jacob’s Ladder Gronk Edition Step Machine
  • Best budget: Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands
  • Best medium price range: Bowflex Max Trainer M7
  • Best value: ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer 
  • Best small: Kettler Montana Stepper
  • Best foldable: Stamina 40-0069 SpaceMate Folding Stepper

Best premium: Jacob’s Ladder Gronk Edition Step Machine

Designed with ultimate performance in mind, the Jacob’s Ladder Gronk Edition is a patented machine that combines climbing with a stepping motion, for a full-body workout unlike any other. Whether you are an intense athlete looking to push yourself to the maximum of your capacity or a total beginner seeking a low impact cardio workout to get in shape, the Jacob’s Ladder is guaranteed to deliver a superior cardiovascular exercise that efficiently burns calories and strengthens the entire body.

One of the most exciting features of this is a non-motorized machine is that it provides continuous exercise at your own pace. You decide how much you want to challenge yourself and at what speed. The Jacob’s Ladder even offers the option to hold on to the railings or to exercise using both your arms and legs for a more intense workout that burns more calories. This means that, as your increase your endurance levels, the Jacob’s Ladder will adapt to your fitness level and will continue to deliver a challenging workout that keeps your entire body in shape without adding any unnecessary stress on your hips or lower back. In fact, it is an innovative machine that relieves stress from your lower body thanks to its 40-degree angle and natural positioning of the body.

Best of all, this premium machine is strong enough for any gym but also compact and suitable for use at your home. It does come at a high-ticket price, but this is simply because it is built with top-quality materials that include beautiful maple rungs, quiet mechanics, and a solid construction. In addition, it features a digital tracker that helps monitor your progress, so you know exactly how long you have exercised, how many feet you have climbed, your rate of speed and total calorie burn. Plus, as if that weren’t enough, the Jacob’s Ladder is delivered at your home fully assembled, thus allowing you to get right to your workout and start transforming your body as soon as it arrives. This is the best premium stepper for serious athletes and committed fitness enthusiasts who are looking to improve their stamina.

Best budget: Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands

For fitness enthusiasts who are on a budget and have limited storage space, the Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands is an excellent solution. Unlike other small steppers that only work your lower body and do nothing for the upper body, this mini stepper incorporates the use of resistance bands to deliver a full-body workout. You can choose the intensity of your workout by adjusting the height of your steps, with a hydraulic system that keeps your steps smooth at all times. And, to continue to prove that size and cost should not limit the capabilities of your exercise machine, this easy to use exercise device also features an LCD screen to track your total number steps, the time it has been used, and number of calories burned.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands is a no-frills device that weighs only 12 pounds, so it can easily travel with you as needed or could even be kept under your desk at work. It requires minimal assembly and is pretty much ready to use the moment you take it out of the box. All you have to do is attach the resistance bands, if you choose to incorporate them to your workout, and get going with your exercise regime.

The weight capacity of this mini stepper is 220 pounds and it is designed to avoid slipping thanks to its wide, textured pedals that are built to keep you safe while you exercise over 20 different muscles with little impact to your back and joints. This is the best budget stepper for those with little space and for whom portability is essential.

Best medium price range: Bowflex Max Trainer M7

With the Bowflex Max Trainer M7, you can incorporate an element of high-tech to your workouts. Stay motivated with 11 different exercise programs and 20 levels of resistance that are built into the stepper, while using the Free Max Trainer app to sync your phone to your exercise machine and keep close track of your performance. With the app, you are even able to stream videos that feature professional trainers who provide guidance and motivation during your workouts. In addition to all this, the machine’s integrated computer offers targeted programming that adapts to your individual fitness level and helps set your personal goals.

The beautiful console also has a place for your devices and your water bottle. It includes sturdy handholds with an integrated heart rate monitor, for an excellent user experience and a superb workout at home. This is certainly a durable machine that is compact enough to fit in a bedroom, yet built strong to provide a weight capacity of 300 pounds and last a lifetime.

With the Bowflex Max Trainer M7, you can be sure you will have a complete upper and lower body workout that adapts to your changing needs and that will keep you feeling motivated and challenged. It is a smart piece of equipment that is easy and small enough to use at home, yet powerful enough to help you attain your fitness goals. This is the best stepper for those looking for a premium exercise experience and a medium price range.

Best value: ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer

At a price point of under $1,000, the ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer provides excellent value. It truly has an outstanding durability and includes commercial-grade features that you would only see in gym equipment, all of which is backed by a lifetime frame warranty, three-year parts warranty, and one-year labor warranty.

With this incredibly versatile and super quiet machine, you can choose whether you hold on to the static handlebars or decide to integrate upper body movement for a more challenging and complete body workout. The ProForm Cardio HIIT Trainer includes 32 workout programs plus 24 resistance levels. It also comes with a one-month free app membership, all of which help promote a fun and intense home workout.

The thoughtful, high-end details are what makes this machine stand out from the other stair steppers and a pleasure to use. It includes a console with a built-in fan, street-view scenes that connect to Google Maps to keep you entertained and a silent magnetic resistance system to deliver an exclusive gym experience without ever having to leave your home. This is the best value stepper that combines some high-end features and durability with a lower price.

Best small: Kettler Montana Stepper

If you’re looking for an excellent stepper exercise machine with minimal footprint, that delivers a challenging workout, you can be sure that the Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Montana Stair Stepper delivers what you need. It is built to take up minimal space in your home, but without ever sacrificing the efficiency of your workout.

You can adjust your resistance level with heavy-duty hydraulic piston cylinders that are meant to keep your exercise smooth and help the machine adapt to different body weights, up to 250 pounds. Go ahead and step confidently into better health thanks to the Montana Stair Stepper’s anti-slip footplates that are textured, as well as the rubber grip handlebars designed for your comfort and safety and built-in floor levelers to maintain stability even on uneven surfaces.

With the Montana Stair Stepper’s LCD screen, you can easily keep track of your speed, exercise time, number of steps, total height climbed, room temperature, and your pulse to help deliver an informative cardio workout that also strengthens your muscles. With this machine, you can be sure that you will get the best at-home workout possible in a compact and lightweight design that accommodates your space and personal needs. This is the best small stepper that is sturdy and durable while taking up very little room.

Best foldable: Stamina 40-0069 SpaceMate Folding Stepper

If your space requires the ability to fold and stow your stepper machine, the Stamina SpaceMate is the perfect exercise companion for you. Designed to ensure a proper workout even in small apartments or other limited spaces and ideal for those who want to work out at home but find exercise equipment unaesthetic, this fold-up stepper can easily be out of sight and out of mind while not in use.

But don’t let its storability fool you. You can surely get an intense workout and sweat to your heart’s content with the Stamina 40-0069 SpaceMate Folding Stepper. It features two resistance hydraulic cylinders to deliver a smooth and consistent workout that is challenging and that can adjust to your desired level of resistance. With this machine, you can strengthen your lower body and improve your overall endurance right at home, and then conveniently put it away when you are done. It allows you to stay in shape and while keeping your home tidy and looking great.

Plus, it includes a compact LCD monitor to track your steps per minute, total number of steps, exercise time and calories burned. The SpaceMate Folding Stepper can surely help you reach your fitness goals and keep you motivated to continue your exercise routine without being clunky. This is the best foldable stepper that can be stored in small spaces.

Stair steppers in general are an amazing exercise machine that can help build your stamina, strengthen your entire body, and provide a challenging workout for users of all fitness levels. Because of their popularity and proven effectiveness, more and more people want to have one at home. For this reason, steppers are now available in a wide range of designs and costs to fit all needs and make home exercising accessible to all. While some hardcore athletes might be looking for the Rolls Royce of stair steppers, other casual fitness enthusiasts may simply need a portable solution that keeps them active wherever they go. But, regardless of your individual objectives, it is important to find a quality exercise machine that will ensure a good workout and that is built to last you a long time. This is why we have put together a list of the best stair steppers available in the market to fit all budgets, spaces, and health objectives. Remember to check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine and use this list as a reference to find the stair stepper that best suits your needs and personal tastes. The objective is to stay healthy and keep yourself motivated to maintain an exercise routine that supports your healthy lifestyle.

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