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The Best Stair Climbers

Where Can You Buy the Best Stair Climbers?

This essential piece of cardio equipment has been around for almost 40 years. Sometimes referred to as a "stair stepper" , these machines are a refreshing alternative to treadmills and exercise bikes while still delivering an excellent workout. Depending on your current level of fitness, your age and weight, and the resistance level you choose, you could burn a whopping 500 calories in just 30 minutes!

What kind of stair climber or stepper is right for you? There are several equipment styles to choose from. The one you see most often at fitness centers is called a "stairmill" : picture a rotating staircase that you climb almost like an escalator at the mall. The intensity of your workout is determined by the speed you set. These machines tend to be very large and can take up a lot of space in your home, but they offer the advantage of being extremely sturdy and often have a higher user weight capacity than other types of stair climbers.

Sunday, September 26th

2021 Stair Climber Reviews

Bowflex Review Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award 5 Star Rating

Bowflex

5 Star Rating Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Bowflex gives you a great stair workout, access to live coaching, and an impressive selection of features in their two climber models - for less than $2,000. You'll have a generous 6-week return policy to decide if you love it as much as everyone else does. These stair climbers have all of the features to make this the first place you shop for your gym equipment. Bowflex is our winner among stair steppers.

NordicTrack Review 4.5 Star Rating

NordicTrack

4.5 Star Rating

NordicTrack gives you stair steppers with maximum versatility: their two models can be used with a foot path like a treadmill, elliptical, or climber, and one of them even gives you options for decline and incline. You'll also get a 1-year free membership to iFit, with live trainer-led and on-demand workouts to keep you progressing. Although NordicTrack machines have a higher price tag than our top company, they're still one of our favorite choices for stair climbers.

XTERRA Review 4 Star Rating

XTERRA

4 Star Rating

XTERRA only carries one style of stair climber, but it's unique: it's seated like a recumbent bike, while incorporating upper body handles like an elliptical machine! This is the perfect option if you need to exercise while sitting down or if you have problems with your knees, back, or balance. XTERRA offers the RSX1500 with free shipping and generous warranty coverage, and we encourage you to give this equipment a look if you need a slightly different approach to stair stepping.

StairMaster Review 4 Star Rating

StairMaster

4 Star Rating

You're practically guaranteed an amazing workout if you use a StairMaster. The original name in stairmills and stair steppers, this brand still has a lot to offer, from better-than-average warranty coverage to sturdy machines that will last you a very long time. They have a price tag to match, though, and if you're looking for all of the latest tech you might find more of it elsewhere - for less money.

Technogym Review 3.5 Star Rating

Technogym

3.5 Star Rating

Technogym brings a touch of European class to the stair climber arena with its fully-featured Artis Climb. It boasts some attractive features, from the footrests and no-pinch steps to ample tech capabilities. Worth the $13k price tag? Maybe, but the company gets mixed reviews and there's not a lot of customer feedback on the Climb.

Sunny Review 3.5 Star Rating

Sunny

3.5 Star Rating

Sunny sells a lot of super-small stair steppers: compact enough to keep under your desk or bed, and only a few with upper handles to grasp while exercising. You won't find anything here for more than $170 - if the one you want is actually in stock. The company gets an "A+" from the BBB and their exercise equipment earns 5-star reviews from customers, but their selection might not be as hardcore as some people need for their home gyms.

MaxiClimber Review 3 Star Rating

MaxiClimber

3 Star Rating

MaxiClimber offers an all-body workout system for under $400. These low-tech, space-saving machines are a good option and get lots of positive customer reviews. On the downside, the company has a not-so-great rating from the BBB, and repair requests are slow to be fulfilled during the limited one-year warranty period. Buyer beware as always, but MaxiClimber might be an option if you're on a budget.

SOLE Fitness Review 2 Star Rating

SOLE Fitness

2 Star Rating

SOLE Fitness' CC81 Cardio Climber gives you an all-body workout with adjustable handlebars to pull or push while you step. This machine is pretty low-tech despite a $1,600 price tag, and there's not much feedback on its performance. The company itself has a low rating from the BBB and doesn't do a good job delivering on the promised warranty coverage, putting SOLE towards the bottom of our rankings.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

The stair steppers you'll find most commonly in home use have pedals that you push up and down. As you increase the resistance in the pedals, your workout gets more challenging. There's a lot of variety within this type of stair machine too: you'll see full-body options that make it feel more like mountain climbing or using an elliptical machine, as well as super-compact designs that can be stored under a desk or bed.

Because stair climbers use a different motion pattern than walking or biking, there can be an adjustment period as you get comfortable with your new equipment. You can hang onto the handrails at first, to get your balance and become familiar with the machine, but eventually try to climb without them. You'll get a better workout! Also, remember to push with your whole foot and not just the ball of the foot, unless you want a calf-focused session. Finally, make sure that your shoes are firmly tied: you don't want your laces to get wrapped around the pedals or caught in the stairmill!

Which stair climber is right for you? There are so many options that it might be easy to feel overwhelmed. Keep these criteria in mind as you shop, and you'll soon find the one that's the best fit:

  • Price. What's your budget? How much will you pay for your stair stepper and any accessories you might want (like a floor mat to go underneath the machine)? Is delivery included?
  • Available Space. Where do you plan on using your stair climber? Do you have enough floor space and ceiling clearance for the machine you're considering?
  • Fitness Goals. The more features your stair stepper has, the greater variety you can incorporate into your workout routines. A simple machine is fine if you just need a basic cardio workout, but you should consider equipment with more resistance levels if you're trying to improve your endurance and strength over time.
  • Return Policy. If you don't love your stair climber once you get it set up, can you send it back? How long do you have to decide? Is there a restocking fee and/or return shipping costs to consider?
  • Reputation. What do people say about the stair climber? Is it durable? Did customers have a good experience with the customer service aspect of their purchase? Has the BBB given the retailer a good rating?

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the top stair climbers on the market today. We're confident that this information will help you narrow down the options until you find the perfect addition to your home gym!

The Best Stair Climbers Compare Stair Climbers Compare Stair Climber Reviews What are the best Stair Climbers Best Stair Climber Reviews

Stair Climber FAQ

A stair climber is a type of exercise equipment that uses either a rotating series of steps or pedals pushed up and down - imitating the motion you'd make when going up a staircase. The "stairmill" option is most commonly found in gyms and health clubs, while the pedal variety can be seen both in fitness centers and in home use.
Stair climbers are low-impact, delivering an intense workout that is gentler on the joints than running on a treadmill. It also doesn't have to be either-or: if you like to mix up your workouts and target different muscle groups, alternating between using a treadmill and a stair climber is a great option.
That will depend on the stair climber you choose. Most models have clearly-listed dimensions for both floor space and ceiling height requirements, so be sure to look at them carefully and map out the space in your home before making your purchase.
You can get a good-quality stair climber for just under $1,000. If you want a high-end model exactly like what you've seen at your local gym, expect a price tag upwards of $10,000.
The more resistance levels your stair climber has, the greater variety you'll be able to get in your workouts. If you have people of multiple heights who will use the machine - for example, maybe you're 4'11" and your roommate is 6'5" - you might want to choose a model with adjustable stride lengths. From there, you should consider how much tech you want it to have, like Bluetooth connectivity with fitness apps or heart rate monitoring through hand grips and/or a chest strap.
Most stair climber manufacturers aren't quite there yet. However, at least one company offers a separate membership to an online platform where you can get live workouts, exercise in real time with a friend, or stream videos to make your workout routine more interesting.
That depends on the manufacturer's policy. Some offer no returns at all, while others may give you 4-6 weeks to try it out. You may also have to pay restocking fees if you return your stair climber.
Yes. Most stair climbers have warranty coverage on the frame and welds, parts, and labor. The timeframes vary: you might get a lifetime warranty on the frame with one manufacturer, while another only covers the frame for three years. Read the warranty coverage and terms carefully before you buy a stair climber.
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