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Stay Active With the Best Stair Climber in 2022

  1. Stamina SpaceMate Folding Stair Climber
  2. Mabis/DMI Stair Climber
  3. WAGAN Wagan Tech Mini Stepper
  4. StairMaster SM5 StepMill Stair Climber
  5. Buyer's Guide

Stair-climbing machines simply don’t get the love they deserve in the fitness industry. Honestly, there’s a reason why every fitness professional tells you to skip the elevator and take the stairs. Not only is stair climbing a great cardiovascular exercise, but it works the lower body better than any other cardio exercise.

Most modern stair climbers are manufactured with high-quality parts which make them durable and long-lasting while offering great resistance and perfect movement for a challenging but safe workout. Most models offer some kind of extra features that sweeten the deal such as water bottle holders, media trays, and internet-ready console displays. We've compiled a list of what we think to be the top stair climbers on the market. Also below is a buying guide that breaks down the most important features you should look out for when picking a climber; read on to buy the right stair climber for you!

Our Top Four Stair Climbers

Stamina SpaceMate Folding Stair Climber - Best Stair Climber Overall

Stamina is well known for creating budget friendly products with just a little more quality than their competitors and this product is a great example of that. The Space Mate frame is constructed mostly of steel and can support users up to 250 pounds which is impressive for a budget model and also offers multiple levels of hydraulic resistance for a continuous challenge.

While many other companies are content with just creating pedals Stamina understands that handles can be very important for this type of exercise which is why they provide adjustable height handles. Unlike other steppers which are forced to place their console on the base of the machine Stamina locates theirs on their handles so you can easily track all of your key information.

Stamina makes this stepper easy to store with wheels for transportation and a folding frame which makes it easy to store in a closet or under the bed. Unfortunately handles are the only extra feature that this machine offers but they truly do add a lot to the machine.

best Mabis/DMI Stair Climber

Mabis/DMI Stair Climber - Runner Up

This budget stepper is built to last with a heavy duty steel frame which supports up to 250 pounds. The pedals are oversized and covered in textured rubber for a safe and worry free workout every time and hydraulic resistance for a difficult but rewarding workout. This stepper has a small footprint which is great for those short on space and in need of an easy to store cardio machine. The onboard screen is incredibly simple to read and navigate with just a few key statistics. This stepper doesn’t come with any real extras; rather it’s just a solid cardio stepper at a great price.

WAGAN Wagan Tech Mini Stepper - Honorable Mention

Wagans budget stepper has an excessively small footprint but still supports up to 225 pounds because of its steel and high grade aluminum materials. This stepper is easy to assemble and is designed with handles which not only help with balance but also elevate the console making it easier to read. The console itself only has two buttons and is easy to navigate through the key information it provides. It offers multiple levels of hydraulic resistance to keep your workouts difficult and engaging. The Wagan stepper doesn’t offer too much when it comes to extra features but the built-in handles make a big difference to your overall workout.

StairMaster SM5 StepMill Stair Climber - Consider

At first glance the Freeclimber from Stairmaster does not really look like much with a small footprint and features that aren’t exactly large. However, this tiny masterpiece is built tough with steel and polymers which can support users up to 350 pounds. Unlike many stair climbers Stair Master uses an alternator and chain drive system to control resistance versus the traditional hydraulic resistance.

This machine comes with the option of three different console screens two which are 10 inch touch screens (one with a TV tuner) and one with a backlit LCD screen which is what you would expect from this and most other cardio machine. Each console is easy to use and gets you where you want to go with minimal effort but the touch screens are slightly easier to navigate.

All of the consoles come with 10 built in programs and two fitness tests to ensure your workouts remain challenging. It doesn’t come with a lot in the way of extra features but it does include a water bottle holder and hand and wireless heart rate monitors.

Buyer's Guide

The physical features of the stair climber rest mostly within the type of resistance that is used and how the stairs move, but there are a few features worth mentioning.

Important Features


Whether you’re on a cheap hydraulic system or high-class gym climber, you want to make sure your feet aren’t going to slip out from under you. Grip types include a textured tread common on hydraulic stair climbers and raised rubber line treads found on higher-end models.


Most stair climbers offer a clear display with a few fitness feedback options. At a minimum, you want to find a stair climber with a console that displays the time, distance, and pace of your workout.

Foot Action


The most common form of foot action for stair climbers is the motion of pressing down on the pedal and it lifts itself back up automatically. This forces more of a marching movement which still offers a great workout but isn’t the same as climbing a flight of steps.


This is the best type of foot action because it accurately mimics the physical act of traditional stair climbing. You will only find this function on expensive step mills which are a continually cycling track of stairs.

Resistance Types


Magnetic resistance offers a smooth and quiet resistance by activating and deactivating magnets to create more or less resistance. Unlike cycles, ellipticals, and rowers, which are large enough to support sizable flywheels, stair climbers are often small which makes offering a range of magnetic resistance difficult.


Hydraulic resistance works when force is applied to an incompressible liquid like an oil which is moved to another point, thus creating resistance in the process. Since you’re pressing down instead of pushing and pulling as you would with say an exercise bike, the regular jerkiness associated with this resistance type does not apply.

Is a Stair Climber Right for You?

A stair climber could be a great investment or a giant waste of money depending on where and how you’re going to use it. If you get a traditional stair climber, it will save you a lot of space compared to other pieces of cardio equipment. Stair climbers also offer a greater amount of lower bodywork than a traditional cardio machine which makes them as good as two or more pieces of equipment.

On the other hand, high-end step mills can cost thousands of dollars not to mention bills associated with their upkeep. There’s also the issue of the constant pushing or stepping which can be shocking to the joints, a very real issue for individuals with past or existing joint injuries. However, a stair climber of any kind is a great addition to your workout especially if you are strapped for time and space.

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