Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

Stair climber vs. Stepmill

author image Nina K.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by,, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.
Stair climber vs. Stepmill
Woman doing stair stepper at gym. Photo Credit: Siri Stafford/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Both a stair climber and stepmill allow you to mimic walking up steps, and both provide a vigorous cardiovascular workout while toning muscles in your legs and buttocks. Both machines can be difficult to use, so be prepared for a challenge. As similar as these machines are, some key differences exist. One is price: a stepmill, with its more intensive construction, is typically more expensive than a stair climber.

Video of the Day

The Difference

A stair climber consists of two pedals -- one for each foot -- that move independently of one another. Costlier versions have motors, while less-expensive climbers have air-pressure pistons. As you use the climber, one foot moves up while the other moves down. The stepmill works differently, providing a cascading staircase that you walk up just as you would the steps of a building. Stepmills always have motors, and are typically bulkier than stair climbers. While climbers allow you to set a resistance level, a stepmill allows you to select a speed, and your body weight provides the resistance.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media