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No matter your fitness goals or preferred mode of exercise, your friends at Garage Gym Reviews have you covered. We’ve tested and reviewed everything from the best treadmills for home gyms to the best adjustable dumbbells and everything in between. Plus, our testers have years of industry experience as gym owners, certified personal trainers, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainers. 

In our best mini stair stepper roundup, we’re unveiling our top-rated mini step machines. We’ve hand-selected and tested nearly every product featured on this list. Our testers used our in-depth fitness equipment testing methodology to rate the mini stair steppers on overall value, construction, durability, and ergonomics—just to name a few. At the end of this roundup, we’ll expand on our product considerations and testing methodologies. Let’s step in. 

5 Best Mini Stair Steppers 

Best Mini Stair Stepper Overall: Niceday Stair Stepper

Good for: Anyone looking for a solid mini stair stepper for home workouts or the office 

Best Overall

Niceday Stair Stepper with Resistance Bands

GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Mini stair stepper
  • 300-lb weight capacity
  • Includes resistance bands with handles
  • Hydraulic drive system
  • LCD monitor features basic metrics

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight machine
  • Portable design
  • Inclusive weight capacity
  • No assembly required

Cons

  • Manual resistance adjustments
  • Resistance automatically decreases after 30 minutes

Bottom Line

The Niceday Stair Stepper is a mini stair stepper with manual adjustments to customize the resistance on the hydraulic drive system. It does not need to be plugged in and can be anywhere in your home, office, or gym. It also comes with resistance bands for a full-body workout.

The Niceday Mini Stair Stepper earns our top spot for best overall mini stepper because it has an affordable price tag, inclusive user weight capacity, adjustable resistance, and comes with detachable resistance bands. The Niceday stepper also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is rare on such a compact and budget-friendly exercise machine. 

GGR expert tester, certified personal trainer, and staff writer Matt Dustin tested the Niceday Mini Stepper and the first thing he noticed was the resistance. “Surprisingly the resistance is pretty tough,” says Matt. “I used the knob to adjust the step height and found that both the low and high step heights were pretty challenging. It doesn’t take long to get to your target heart rate.” 

Niceday mini stair stepper in use

Matt also experimented with the detachable resistance bands with handles for a full-body workout. “I found this mini stepper to be super stable, even when I used the resistance bands for overhead movements and it still felt locked to the ground,” he says. For this reason, the Niceday stepper earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating for durability. 

The only thing Matt is concerned about is the longevity of the hydraulic drive system. “I haven’t had any issues, but I’ve only used it for about a month,” he says. 

When it comes to the overall durability, this Niceday stepper is a bit heavier than the other mini steppers we tested, which helps provide the locked-down feel. The frame is constructed from 1.5-millimeter steel and weighs about 25 pounds. Although Matt didn’t think it was difficult to move, it was heavier than he expected. He rated the portability category at 4 out of 5 stars. 

With the Niceday Stair Stepper, you can expect a quiet cardio machine and a basic but easy-to-read LCD monitor that displays time, step count, calories, and reps. 

Price About $75 on Amazon
Dimensions 16” L x 12” W x 14” H
Product weight 25 lbs
Weight capacity 300 lbs 
Warranty Lifetime 

Best Budget Mini Stair Stepper: ACFITI Stair Stepper 

Good for: Folks who don’t want to spend a ton of money on a full-body workout machine

Best Budget

ACFITI Stair Stepper

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Mini stair stepper
  • Comes with handle resistance bands
  • Twisting motion
  • Simple LCD monitor
  • Hydraulic drive system

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • High weight limit
  • Quiet drive system
  • No assembly required

Cons

  • Basic monitor
  • Twist motion may not be ideal for all people
  • 30+ minutes of use may overheat hydraulic system

Bottom Line

The ACFITI Stair Stepper is a mini stepper you can use anywhere in your home, office, or gym. It’s lightweight at 12 pounds and offers a weight capacity of 330 pounds. With your purchase, you will also receive a pair of resistance bands that can attach to the mini stepper for a full-body workout.

If you’re on a tight budget but still want the benefits of cardio exercise, look no further than the ACFITI Stair Stepper. You can order the ACFITI mini stepper from Amazon for about $50 (or less depending on current promotions). In the value category, the ACFITI earns a 5-star rating. We don’t typically see mini cardio machines priced below $75 (including mini exercise bikes or ellipticals).  

But it’s not just about a fair price. Our testers also take into account the durability and construction of cardio machines, especially ones with budget price tags. We appreciate that the ACFITI stepper frame is built with 1.5-millimeter commercial steel and has a 330-pound weight capacity. For this reason, the ACFITI earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating for durability. Plus, this mini stepper has an adjustment knob to change the stride length for a more customized workout. 

One thing that you may (or may not) like about the ACFITI stepper is the twisting motion of the pedals. The hydraulics are designed in a V-shape to provide a longer stepping motion, which also puts a little rotation in your step. 

We have not yet tested the ACIFITI stepper. However, based on our experience testing the Sportsroyal stepper (also designed with twisting action), the movement pattern may require an adjustment period. The ACIFITI stepper may also not be the ideal choice for folks with knee or hip issues because the twisting motion may place too much strain or torque on the joints. 

Price About $50 on Amazon
Dimensions 13.3″ L x 11.4″ W x 7.8″ H
Product weight 12 lbs
Weight capacity 330 lbs
Warranty 1 year

Best Under-Desk Mini Stair Stepper: Cubii Move

Good for: Anyone looking for a low-key stepper workout for work hours 

Best Under-Desk

Cubii Move

GGR Score: 3.79 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Tracks stride count, mileage, duration, and calories burned
  • Great for under-desk use
  • 6 levels of resistance

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great for under-desk pedaling
  • 6 levels of resistance
  • Tracks stride count, mileage, duration, and calories burned

Cons

  • Does not provide a full-body workout
  • May wobble on carpet
  • No handle
  • Manual resistance only

Bottom Line

The Cubii move is a lightweight, portable exercise machine that allows you to seamlessly pedal while seated.

The Cubii Move is essentially a mini elliptical machine, but we still think it’s a worthy contender for our best mini stair stepper roundup. While the stepping motion on the Cubii Move has a rather oval-shaped path, we want to include it because it’s an ideal option if you’re looking to add more movement into your workday. Plus, you won’t need a standing desk to use this machine. 

RELATED: Best Elliptical Machines 

The Cubii Move has a 300-pound user weight capacity, but it’s not technically designed for standing on. It’s meant to be used from a seated position—hence why this is ideal for under your desk at work—to offer more NEAT activity (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). NEAT activity includes things like cleaning your house or general fidgeting (yes, you read that right!). Needless to say, if you can perform some under-desk stepping while you work, the added movement can help aid weight loss or maintenance goals. 

feet on pedals cubii jr under desk elliptical

RELATED: What is Cardio?

You’ll also like knowing that there are six levels of adjustable resistance for a customized under-desk workout. For a mini cardio machine, this customization is a bonus, which is why we rated it a 4 out of 5 for adjustability and ergonomics. 

The Cubii Move has an easy-to-read digital monitor that tracks your stride count, mileage, duration, and calories burned. Plus, you can download the free Cubii app for on-demand programming. GGR expert tester and former staff writer Caroline Lubinsky notes in her in-depth Cubii Jr review (a now-discontinued model) that the app lets you keep track of weekly metrics to get a pulse check on your frequency and progress. 

Price $199
Dimensions 21.7” L x 19.7” W x 9.7” H
Product weight 17.6 lbs
Weight capacity 300 lbs
Warranty 1 year

Best Mini Stair Stepper for Heavy People: Sportsroyal Stair Stepper

Good for: Heavier folks looking to perform cardio exercise at home 

Best for Heavy People

Sportsroyal Stair Stepper

Product Highlights

  • Mini stepper with twisting step motion
  • Includes resistance bands with handles
  • Hydraulic drive and precision bearings
  • LCD screen with basic metrics
  • 330-lb weight capacity

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High weight capacity
  • No assembly required
  • No power required
  • Small footprint

Cons

  • Hard to read screen while working out
  • Potential adjustment period with twisting motion

Bottom Line

Sportsroyal Stair Stepper is a mini stepper with a slight twist: Instead of an up-and-down movement pattern, this mini stair stepper’s pedals move up and to the side to get your hips moving and twisting while you step. The Sportsroyal also includes detachable resistance bands for a full-body workout.

The Sportsroyal Stair Stepper is an ideal choice for heavier folks with its heavy-duty 2-millimeter steel construction and 330-pound user weight capacity. It’s also a twisting stair stepper, designed to lengthen your stride versus the up-and-down motion of traditional steppers.

GGR expert product tester and certified personal trainer, Erin Chancer, says the step-and-twist movement required a short adjustment period. “The stepping motion with a twist was confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be good to go. It’s a super stable little machine and I never once felt in danger of toppling over,” says Erin. 

Sportsroyal mini stair stepper in use with bands

Erin is rather petite, but based on her experience and the maximum user weight, she feels confident this is an ideal choice for heavier exercisers. “I’ve used it for several weeks and haven’t noticed any issues.”

RELATED: Best Treadmills for Heavy People

“You’ll be in control and generate your own momentum,” says Erin about the hydraulic drive system. We appreciate that the hydraulics feature a powerful spring to absorb shock and protect your joints while stepping. 

Erin also liked being able to use the detachable resistance bands with handles for shrugs, biceps curls, and upright rows while stepping. 

Price About $120 on Amazon
Dimensions 19.6″ L x 18.1″ W x 9.8″ H
Product weight 19.8 lbs
Weight capacity 330 lbs
Warranty 1 year

Best Mini Stair Stepper With Resistance Bands: Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper

Good for: Anyone limited to small spaces with the need for a total body workout 

Best with Resistance Bands

Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stair Stepper

GGR Score: 3.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Mini stair stepper
  • Compact, portable, and easy-to-use
  • Provides the same motion as a large step machine
  • Integrated resistance bands for full-body workout
  • Maximum user weight of 220 lbs
  • Display shows basic workout metrics 
  • Adjustable height 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact
  • Relatively affordable
  • Full body workout
  • Adjustable height
  • Digital monitor
  • Stable

Cons

  • Some users had difficulty getting the pedals down
  • No resistance
  • Questionable durability

Bottom Line

The Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stair Stepper is a compact machine that offers a solid workout with the potential to work the entire body, thanks to the integrated resistance bands.

The Sunny Health and Fitness Mini Stair Stepper machine uses band resistance to combine lower-body stair stepping with upper-body strength training. You can stimulate the quads, hamstrings, glutes, traps, shoulders, and biceps all in one workout (and in under two square feet of space). 

The removable resistance bands on the Sunny Health and Fitness Mini Stepper are not the best resistance bands we’ve ever tested, but our testers Coop Mitchell (GGR founder) and Brittany Combs (GGR social media manager) both found the bands suitable for curls, lateral raises, and pressing overhead. However, they both agree that most people won’t find them heavy enough for doing shrugs. 

RELATED: Dumbbell Shrug Exercise

feet on the sunny health and fitness mini stepper

Both Coop and Brittany prefer bands with sheathing to protect against normal wear and tear. But in the case of the mini stair stepper, it’s unlikely the bands will rub against another piece of exercise equipment since this mini stepper is a stand-alone machine without handrails or a handlebar. Even without handlebars, this mini stepper received a 4-out-of-5-star rating from our testers in the stability department. 

While our testers liked the machine for beginner exercisers, it’s worth noting that the user manual has a time limit disclaimer of 15 minutes. In our in-depth Sunny Health and Fitness Stepper review, we go into more detail on the potential for the hydraulic cylinders to overheat. 

There are two Sunny Health and Fitness mini steppers models available: Classic and Smart Advanced. The latter is about $20 more and comes with Bluetooth connectivity to pair your workout metrics to the SunnyFit app, which we have not tested yet. 

Price About $70 on Amazon
Dimensions 16.3” L x 12.8” W  x 13.6” H
Product weight 14.5 lbs 
Weight capacity 220 lbs 
Warranty 1-year frame, 180 days other parts and components

Experts Who Contributed To This Article

How We Picked and Tested the Best Mini Stair Steppers

Our expert product testers not only use and test gym equipment, they rely on our collective industry experience to develop testing methodologies for every type of fitness equipment we review. We carefully curate methodologies based on industry-standard specs, median pricing, customer reviews, and our own hands-on experience.

For mini stair steppers, we considered the following and scored these categories on a scale of 1 to 5: 

  • Overall value: High scores are reserved for mini stair steppers with quality construction and functionality that will work for a wide range of body types. Steppers with low scores in the category typically offer too few features or have questionable construction for the asking price.  
  • Footprint and portability: We think a mini stair stepper should be just that—mini. We deducted points for unnecessarily lengthy or weighty machines. 
  • Delivery and setup: Many mini steppers come pre-assembled. We assigned higher scores to machines you can use right out of the box. 
  • Construction and durability: We asked our testers to report any moving or shaking they noticed while using the stepper. We also gave higher scores to stair steppers with a user weight capacity of at least 275 pounds. 
  • Adjustability and ergonomics: The mini steppers scored high in this category if they had oversized pedals, anti-skid stabilizers, and adjustable hydraulic pistons. 
  • Customer experience: High scores went to brands that offer a lengthy warranty period, free returns, and multiple ways to contact customer service. 

Benefits of Mini Stair Steppers

Here are three ways you may benefit from using a mini stair stepper for your at-home cardio workouts: 

Mini Steppers Are Low-Impact 

If you’re someone with ankle, knee, or hip issues, you may like knowing mini stair steppers offer a low-impact lower-body workout. Because steppers have hydraulic pistons, the mechanics of the machine reduce the impact on your joints.

GGR expert product tester and certified personal trainer Matt Dustin says, “Steppers can be challenging enough to get your heart rate pumping, but since there’s no harsh impact with each step, mini stair steppers place significantly less strain on your joints, muscles, and ligaments compared to other forms of cardio, like running or jumping.” 

Mini Steppers Offer Simplicity 

Mini stair steppers are no-frills exercise machines that are straightforward and easy to use. Steppers typically come with simple digital displays powered by batteries, which means you can use your mini stair stepper anywhere you want. You won’t have a power cord tethering you to the corner of your home gym or office. 

Mini Steppers Are Ultra-Compact

Steppers are compact and lightweight, with most step machines weighing under 20 pounds. You can easily pick up your mini stepper and use it in the living room while watching TV, on the deck while getting some sun, or at your desk if you have an adjustable or standing-height work station.

RELATED: Best Under-Desk Treadmills

Not only are mini stair stepper machines fairly lightweight, but they’re also relatively small. You can tuck your stepper machine on a shelf, under a bed, or in a closet. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Mini Stair Stepper

Now that you know the potential benefits of owning a mini stair stepper, below are some things to consider before you click “add to cart.” 

Intended Use 

We think it’s important to note that while a mini stair stepper can elevate your heart rate, it may not offer enough resistance for seasoned exercisers to consider it one of the best cardio machines for home gyms. 

If you have some exercise experience under your belt, a mini stair stepper could be an excellent way to increase your daily step count and NEAT activity (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). But, a mini stepper will likely not offer a ton of cardiovascular benefits or revolutionize your fitness levels unless you’re a true beginner. 

Your Balance 

Speaking of beginners, we encourage you to consider your balance before buying a mini stair stepper. A machine without handrails can be extra tricky for beginners, older folks, or folks returning to exercise from injury. 

Customer Reviews 

While customer reviews are not always the best way to indicate if a product is right for you, it can be helpful to gauge general experiences. When many customers have the same problem, it can give you a sense of what to expect, even if you decide to go ahead and purchase. We find reading customer reviews on Amazon (versus the brand’s website) is the most helpful way to gauge the true experience of any piece of exercise equipment. 

Best Mini Stair Stepper: FAQs

Are mini stair steppers effective?

Mini stair steppers can be an effective mode of exercise for some folks. If you’re looking to combat a sedentary lifestyle and add more activity to your daily routine, a mini stair stepper is a compact and inexpensive workout machine option. The step height (a.k.a stride length) on mini steppers is rather short. Many people reserve mini steppers for short high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts versus long, steady-state cardio. 

RELATED: Steady State Cardio vs HIIT

What is the best mini stepper for heavy people?

Our top choice for the best mini stair stepper for heavy people is the Sportsroyal Stair Stepper, which features durable construction and a 330-pound user weight capacity. However, if you’re on a tight budget, our best budget selection is the ACFITI Stair Stepper. It also features a 330-pound weight capacity. 

What is the difference between a stair climber and a mini stepper?

We’ve tested some of the best stair climbers on the market and found that this category of cardio machines range from vertical stepping patterns to quadruped climbing. Mini steppers typically have two foot pedals with hydraulic pistons to create an up-and-down alternating motion. Mini steppers have a limited range of motion, while many full-sized stair climbers challenge you with a continuous flow of stairs (like the StairMaster) or rungs (like the Jacob’s Ladder). 

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