Stepper machines are a great way to get an all-around workout in the comfort of your own home. Mini steppers will satisfy those with light-to-moderate exercise requirements and could also be suitable for more serious athletes if supplemented with other options, which do not necessarily involve much, if any, equipment.
Alternatively, those who really want a proper “all-in-one home gym”, could look at investing in a full-size stepper machine.
If you’re sure you’re looking for a mini stepper or a full-sized stepper machine then you might want to head straight to our pick of the best mini steppers in the UK market or what we think is the best full-size stepper machine. If you’d like to learn a bit more about steppers first, then read on and we’ll try to answer all your questions.
Might be interesting? Read Our Mini Exercise Bike And Pedal Exercise Review
What exactly are stepper machines?
Stepper machines are basically machines which replicate the action of walking up steps. As such they mainly work on the lower body and core, however, some stepper machines come with resistance bands so you can have an upper-body workout and even if they don’t you can always buy your own resistance bands and/or use arm weights, or exercise your upper body in some other way.
If you’re wondering how stepper machines are an improvement on using the stairs, the answer is a combination of safety, convenience and comfort. Basically, stairs are intended to be used as a means of getting from A to B and while you could exercise on them if you had no alternative, that’s not really what they’re meant for and they’re not really the best choice even if you do have them all to yourself and certainly not if other people want to use them too!
How do stepper machines compare to treadmills?
Stepper machines and treadmills do give you a broadly similar sort of workout (assuming you’re using your treadmill for walking rather than running), but steppers are much lower tech. They don’t have motors so they don’t need to be plugged in and they don’t necessarily make a noise (some are quieter than others). They don’t need a running platform and so can be used where space is at a premium and even a full-sized stepper machine is more compact to store.
How do stepper machines compare to mountain-climber machines?
Stepper machines are very similar to mountain-climber machines, but on their own are less intense, which makes them more flexible in use. Those needing physical rehabilitation and/or who are very unfit would probably be far better off with a stepper machine (or more likely a mini stepper) while those who are more serious about fitness, but short on space, could use a stepper machine (or mini stepper) combined with other forms of exercise.
Are stepper machines a good cardio workout?
The honest answer to this is “it depends”. The less fit you are, the more any form of exercise will challenge your heart so even a mini stepper could give you a good aerobic workout. Once you reach a certain level of fitness, even a full-size stepper machine might not give you all the cardio you need to maintain your fitness level, but you might find that even a mini stepper could give you sufficient muscle toning.
Can a mini stepper machine actually help me to lose weight/keep weight off?
Yes, mini steppers may be small but they can still challenge you especially if you are unfit. Full-size step machines are even more of a challenge. Depending on your situation, you may find it best to combine using a stepper machine with other forms of exercise (and perhaps diet changes), but they can certainly help you to lose the pounds off your body without eating up too many of the pounds in your bank account.
Best Mini Stepper Machine UK
Our pick of the best mini steppers in the UK market
If you’re still reading, we’re guessing you’re seriously interested in getting a stepper machine and are now looking for the best stepper machine in the UK. The best stepper machine in the UK is the one which is best for you, so we’ve created a list of five mini steppers and one full-size stepper machine, which we think are the best options in terms of robustness, performance and overall value for money.
ANCHEER Swing Stepper Including Resistance Cords/Aerobic Step Height Adjustable Level
Possibly the single, biggest selling point of the Ancheer Swing Stepper is the fact that it has a weight limit of no less than 440lbs (that’s 31 stone or 200Kg). The machine itself weighs 2.5Kg so while you’re not going to be putting it in your carry-on luggage, you’re not likely to be struggling to get it from storage to wherever you want to use it. Speaking of storage, the Ancheer Swing Stepper comes in at 26.6 x 11.3 x 3.5 inch/68.2 x 29 x 9 cm so it should be easy enough to store even when space is limited.
Although there’s no adjustable tension, you can set the height of the riser to either 3.5 inches or 5.5 inches (9cm or 14cm), plus you have the option of using resistance cords for a whole-body workout. On that point, for the sake of clarity, the term “swing stepper” or “twister stepper” means that the steps can be twisted on its axis to allow you to work different muscle groups. You do not actually push them out to the side as though you were skating. This is another plus point for those working out in areas with limited space.
The Ancheer Swing Stepper is very much respected for its ability to stay put regardless of flooring and it is also known for being quite in use. There is an LCD display unit which shows reps per minute, count (steps), time and calories, although we’re not sure how many people will find it easy to read while they’re actually working out. Pro tip, you change the battery (AA) by removing the entire display unit. We’ve heard some people don’t think the manual makes this clear.
In short: The Ancheer Swing Stepper is really the only option for the very largest users and for everybody else, it’s a solid long-term investment.
- 【New Presale 】--This is the latest design twister stepper in 2018. We improved the structure to make it stronger and lighter; work deep muscles in...
- 【What's it for?】--Our twister stepper is for body fitness, imitation of natural climbing movement; Easy to store; work deep muscles in...
- 【What's twister stepper machine ?】--Twist action helps you tone thighs and buttocks, providing low-impact aerobic workouts. You can do various...
- 【Why choose us?】-- --Smooth and quiet design; Easy to store, put it under the bed or storage room ; LED display values like training time, step...
- 【How long should I use it?】 --About 60 minutes/time, 1-2 times /day. It equals to 0.5 hours running, 90 minutes of free swimming, 3 weeks of...
Confidence Twist Stepper with Ropes
The maximum user weight of the Confidence Twist Stepper with Ropes is given as 100Kg, which is about 15 stone and the machine itself weighs in at 8.5Kg, so definitely not the lightest out there but still perfectly manageable, if you’re planning on moving it between your storage area and your work-out area. The dimensions are 40.5×35×23.5cm, so also decently compact.
One point to note about the Confidence Twist Stepper with Ropes is that although it will stay put on different floor surfaces, it isn’t entirely silent, so, if you’re planning on using it anywhere other than a ground floor (e.g. in a flat or the upstairs of a house), then it would be best to put it on a soft floor, so if you don’t have carpet, then an exercise mat or similar would be a good investment.
Another minor point about the Confidence Twist Stepper with Ropes is that the resistance bands provided are not adjustable and so people who are particularly small may find them unusable. Anyone 5’4” or taller should, however, be fine and shorter people who want to work out their upper body could buy separate resistance bands or use weights. For the sake of completeness, the steps on the twister stepper twist slightly, they do not move sideways.
The Confidence Twist Stepper with Ropes does have an integrated display, be gentle when you’re fitting this to the body of the machine or else you risk damaging it and this would not be covered by the warranty. Having said that, even if you do, there are plenty of other options for keeping track of your steps, with or without a smartphone and/or Fitbit.
In short: the Confidence Twist Stepper with Ropes does have its drawbacks, in particular, if you’re looking for a mini stepper to be as quiet as possible, then you may want to look elsewhere, but overall it’s a very decent performer at a very decent price.
- Ropes allow simultaneous upper and lower body workout, Helps to trim inner thighs and tone outer thighs and buttocks further
- Vary your workout intensity but seamlessly moving from shorter to longer steps. LCD display measures time, count, strides per minute, calories and a...
- Durable gym quality steel frame construction, Portable and easy to use
- Easy to Maintain and Keep Clean, Manual included
- Dimensions: 40.5×35×23.5cm, Weight: 8.5KGS. Maximum user weight: 100kg
Klarfit Powersteps Twist Stepper
The Klarfit Powersteps Twist Stepper is the only one of our top picks to offer stepper machines in a range of colours. More specifically, the actual steps themselves are available in pink, blue and black, regardless of which step colour you choose, the frame is silver. The entire machine has a size of 36 x 19 x 41cm (W x H x D) and weighs 6.5Kg. It supports users of up to 100Kg (15 stone).
As the name suggests, the steps allow for a slight degree of twist (similar to Nordic walking), they do not push out to the side. The Klarfit Powersteps Twist Stepper comes with what Klarfit calls “expander bands”, (resistance bands), which can be used to increase the intensity of the workout. You can’t adjust the tension of the steps, which is pretty firm, so the unfit will need to pay close attention to the principle of starting out with short sessions and working up from there.
You can keep track of your progress by means of the integrated “training computer” (display), which shows reps per minute, count (steps), time and calories. When assembling the Klarfit Powersteps Twist Stepper, this needs to be pushed in firmly without being forced.
The Klarfit Powersteps Twist Stepper has a non-slip base, which will even provide decent grip on harder floors. It’s quiet in use, although in upstairs rooms, putting in on carpet or an exercise mat would be a good idea.
In short: The fact that the Klarfit Powersteps Twist Stepper does have pretty strong resistance means it’s possibly not ideal for those looking to get fit but it could be a good choice for people looking to maintain fitness.
- Effective, all-round training with 5 functions ? improving circulation,fitness, targeted training of problem areas and increasing muscle mass |...
- Compact dimensions ? easy to store | Training computer shows elapsed training time
- Colour: Black/silver | Max. load capacity: 100kg | Sturdy steel construction
- The Klarfit Powersteps stepper features a training computer that allows you to put together an effectivetraining plan. Thanks to the expander bands...
- The system can be easily stored away under the bed or in awardrobe. | The Klarfit twist stepper is shipped fully assembled.
Mirafit Low Impact Aerobic Mini Stepper with Display
The Mirafit Low Impact Aerobic Mini Stepper with Display is one of the most popular mini steppers on the market. This is probably due to the fact that it is one of the most affordably-priced models out there, but is still very well-built and offers decent performance. The main compromise is that there are no resistance bands, but you can add those later (or use weights) if you wish. There’s also no way to adjust the resistance, but that is par for the course with mini-steppers.
Apart from the lack of resistance bands, the Mirafit Low Impact Aerobic Mini Stepper ticks all the boxes you would expect from a high-quality mini stepper machine. It has compact dimensions (W: 30.5cm x D: 41cm x H: 32cm) and weighs just 7.3Kg, supporting users of weight up to 100Kg (about 15 stone). The base is non-slip and it is nicely quiet in use.
The fact that Mirafit calls its mini stepper the “Low Impact Mini Stepper”, should give you a hint as to the intended market. This mini stepper is pitched fair and square at the rehabilitation/elderly/very light exercise market, hence its focus on providing the basics at a very affordable price. It may be limited in what it does, but it’s still excellent value for money.
Overall: Basically the Mirafit Low Impact Aerobic Mini Stepper has its market niche and it’s either for you or it isn’t.back to menu ↑
SportPlus 2 in 1 Dual Exercise Stepper – Fitness Stepper with Patented Switchover Technology
The SportPlus 2 in 1 Dual Exercise Stepper looks much like the other mini stepper machines on our list. It also has much the same dimensions (40 x 35 x 23.5 cm) and weight (about 9Kg) and has the standard supported user weight of 100Kg (about 15 stone). This particular mini stepper, however, has an interesting trick up its sleeve, or, more accurately, at its front, a lever which switches the step action between up-and-down and side-to-side.
Regardless of which action you choose, you can be confident of the SportPlus 2 in 1 Dual Exercise Stepper staying in one place, thanks to its non-slip base while you will feel comfortable on it thanks to its non-slip plates (which are also bigger than average) and its hydraulic cylinders, which help to ensure smooth, quiet movement. You can track your progress with the “computer” (display), which shows the usual reps per minute, count (steps), time and calories.
The SportPlus 2 in 1 Dual Exercise Stepper has fixed resistance, which is pretty standard for mini steppers, what may be more of a surprise is that it doesn’t come with resistance bands. Presumably, this was to help reduce the up-front investment cost. As always, you can work around this by adding your own resistance bands and/or weights.
Overall: The SportPlus 2 in 1 Dual Exercise Stepper should probably be the first choice for those with larger feet, otherwise it’s a good option for anyone looking for a serious option.
- 2 in 1 exercise step - Adjustable for "side stepper" or "up and down stepper".
- High-quality hydraulic cylinder for resistance.
- Mini stepper with large non-slip footplates.
- Training computer which displays calories burned, time elapsed, number of steps display and automatically displays changes.
- Maximum user weight up to 100kg - Safety tested according to EN ISO 20957-1, EN 957-8.
Best full-size stepper machine
The bad news is that there are very few full-size stepper machines available on the consumer market. Manufacturers tend to go straight from mini steppers to gym-standard steppers without passing go. The good news is that we have managed to find one consumer-orientated full-size stepper machine we are happy to recommend.back to menu ↑
Kettler Stepper Montana
For the sake of clarity, we’d like to point out that the Kettler Stepper Montana is completely different from the Kettler Side Stepper, which is a mini stepper. The latter is a perfectly decent mini stepper machine, but in our view, it’s rather overpriced compared to the other options, hence why it didn’t make it to our “best mini stepper in the UK list”. The Kettler Stepper Montana, however, offers much better value for its price.
As you might have guessed from the name, Kettler is a German brand and they pride themselves on engineering and build quality so you can expect your product to last over the long term and to be completely safe and comfortable in use. For example, the non-slip frame will keep this stepper machine firmly in place while you are on board and the hydraulic pistons enhance comfort and quietness.
One major difference between the Kettler Stepper Montana and its mini stepper counterpart is that the Kettler Stepper Montana not only has variable resistance but also allows each side of the stepper machine to be set independently to allow for people who have a strong side and a weak side. This is particularly useful for certain forms of physiotherapy and rehabilitation but is convenient even for general fitness use.
The Kettler Stepper Montana has hand grips instead of resistance bands, but you can use arm weights if you want to tone your upper body during your work out and the display (with the usual functions) is set much higher up than is possible on a mini stepper so it’s rather easier to read while you’re working out.
Overall: If you have space and are confident that you’re going to be making regular use of a stepper machine then you may want to look at investing in the Kettler Stepper Montana to benefit from its more advanced resistance options.
Might be interesting? Read Our Mini Exercise Bike And Pedal Exercise Review