Mini Stepper vs. Twist Stepper – Which is the Best Choice?

The best mini steppers are one of the most popular bits of exercise kit on the market today.

Why? Well, simply put, they are lightweight, easy to store, inexpensive, and you require barely any space in your home to actually use it.

All step machines are extremely low impact as your foot never actually leaves the floor, missing that jolt your knee experiences when jogging for example, so they are amazing for anyone with low mobility or perhaps medical conditions such as arthritis.

Originally, a step machine was built to mimic walking without ever actually leaving your home, however, in recent years, there has been a host of new, exciting innovations looking to improve the bog standard stepper.

Twist Stepper

One such innovation, is the twist stepper, also known as a lateral stepper as it creates a lateral twist movement as you exercise. But which is better? The mini stepper or the twist stepper?

In this article, I am going to discuss some of the pros and cons of the twist stepper in comparison to the traditional mini stepper, which should allow you to make an informed decision when looking to purchase a machine.

Does A Twist Stepper Work?

The mini stepper is a tried and tested bit of kit, but how does it’s lateral twist stepper counterpart fare in comparison.

Well, both machines are going to give you a great workout!

Here’s my personal recommendation for the best twist stepper:

Sunny Health & Fitness Total Body Twist Stepper
  • 【FIGURE SLIMMING TWISTING MOTION】Twist stepper cardio workout targeting your glutes, thighs, & calves, while boosting your overall flexibility & coordination. Unique V-shape allows for a twisting/side to side motion that drives the waist to swing left and right, helping to tone the waist, thighs, and glutes.
  • 【ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT】Easily customize the height of your steps to tailor your workout to your specific fitness goals. Whether you’re aiming for a challenging stair climber or a high-intensity quick mini step workout, this feature allows for versatile and effective exercise routines.
  • 【ADJUSTABLE RESISTANCE BANDS】Elevate your fitness routine with the included resistance bands that adjust to your workout. Perfect for a full-body workout, these bands enhance arm, chest, back, and shoulder conditioning, offering balanced exercise.

Last update on 2024-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cardio is the core component of both a mini stepper and a twist stepper, but the main difference of the twist stepper in comparison, is that the motion required to move the machine is going to add far more muscle work to your regime than just a mini stepper alone.

Your glutes, inner and outer thighs are all going to be put through their paces on a twist stepper, and I don’t know about you but if I am going to be spending half an hour on a machine, I want to get as much benefit from it as possible.

So, yes, a twist stepper works! It is going to give you a more well rounded workout in the same amount of time. Can’t be bad, right?

Is A Twist Stepper Better?

My personal opinion is that a twist stepper is better, because it is going to give you a cardio as well as muscle toning workout with little extra effort.

However, it’s only better if muscle toning is something you’re interested in.

If your health goal right now is to lose scale weight, then building muscle (whilst having a positive impact on fat loss) may not be what you choose to do, simply because muscle weighs heavier than fat.

Sunny Health & Fitness Twist Stair Stepper Machine with Handlebar – SF-S020027

However, if you’re goal is to just get in the best possible shape you can, without changing your workout routine too much, then simply switching from a mini stepper to a twist stepper is a fantastic way to capitalise on your exercise time!

A regular stepper may also be more suitable for some people if they for example have painful knee joints or are recovering from an injury, so if you are unable to use a twist stepper, don’t discount a regular mini stepper all together, they are still a fantastic piece of equipment which are relatively inexpensive in comparison to most exercise machines on the market today.

Twist Stepper Calories Burned

So, the burning question on many of your lips is probably, am I going to burn more calories using a twist stepper in comparison to a mini stepper?

The answer is yes!

Because you are using more muscle groups, you are expending more energy and using more calories. Whilst one or two workouts are probably going to show little difference in terms of calories burned, over time, those extra calories add up, helping you to achieve your health goals faster, with the added benefits of toning and looking great too!

Step Machine Accessories

When looking to purchase a step machine, you will notice there are models which come with additions such as resistance bands or a handle for stability.

These are not necessary at all to have a great stepper machine workout, but they do have their added bonuses. 

The handle is very useful if you’re someone who suffers with balance, vertigo or perhaps even just a beginner who is nervous of exercise. 

Unfortunately, the models that come with handles do tend to be more expensive and much more difficult to store, taking away some of the best benefits of a stepper machine, however, in comparison to other exercise machinery such as treadmills, rowers or cross trainers, they are still very compact.

mini stepper comparison to twist stepper

Resistance bands are a great way to add your upper body into your workout, they don’t alter the weight or storage capacity of the unit, and allow you to turn what would have been a lower body only workout into a full body one. Resistance bands for me are a winner! And again, you’re using more muscle groups so burning more calories in the same amount of time on the machine!


I love my stepper machine, I originally purchased a mini stepper as an alternative to step aerobics that I could do at home. However, on the launch of the twist stepper, I immediately purchased one. If a standard mini stepper is your preference, I’d recommend this:

Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands
  • 【Original Stepper 】The Sunny Mini Steppers for exercise at home: Perfect for portable, sleek, and compact stair stepping. Achieve your cardio goals anytime, anywhere. Backed by a legacy of over 30,000 reviews, we are the trusted choice of more than a million satisfied customers. Sunny is the authentic brand for quality exercise steppers
  • 【Full Body Workout】Engage your core, glute, and legs with this low-impact stepper, promoting fat burning and muscle strengthening. Add removable resistance bands to enhance exercise for your chest, back, and shoulders, targeting the upper body effectively
  • 【High-Resistance Cardio Workout】Experience effective cardio burns with Sunny’s high-quality hydraulic system, designed to offer high resistance and intense workout

Last update on 2024-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I have to say after using both, that I love the added benefits of using the twist stepper, and even more so when you add accessories such as resistance bands. 

Both are compact, inexpensive and easy to store, as well as being able to work out in a small space. 

There are also now many workouts on YouTube to follow along free.

But with a twist stepper you’re going to add extra benefits of toning more muscle groups, extra calorie expenditure and a more holistic workout. 

That being said, for people with less mobility, the original mini stepper is still a great option for getting the heart pumping!

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An ex-triathlete, fitness coach and writer with a Masters in Sports Physiology. Fitness is my passion and I've had my fair share of home fitness equipment tried and tested!