Mini Stepper vs Exercise Bike: Which One Should I Choose?

If you’re looking for new ways to burn calories, lose weight, and tone up from the comfort of your own home, you might be considering adding a mini stepper or exercise bike to your fitness arsenal. But which is going to be best for you? 

Mini steppers are great for their convenience, portability, and small size. However, exercise bikes are likely to be able to provide you with a greater range of cardio workout intensities. This is particularly true if you are planning to use both pieces of equipment whilst sitting down.

There are other similarities as well as differences to consider when choosing which of these to incorporate into your fitness routine. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the pros and cons of both the mini stepper vs the exercise bike, helping you make the right choice based on your goals and situation.

Are Mini Steppers and Exercise Bikes the Same?

Mini steppers and exercise bikes differ in many respects, but they do both offer aerobic workouts with comparatively low impact being placed on the lower body and joints. For this reason, both pieces of kit can be considered by people suffering from mobility issues or looking to maintain or increase their cardiovascular fitness during periods of rehabilitation.

Here is my personal recommendation on a Mini Stepper

Sale
Sportsroyals Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands
  • 【Twist Stepper with Resistance Bands】Twist action helps you tone thighs and buttocks, while achieving a challenging cardiovascular workout. Resistance Bands work arms, chest, back, and shoulders for total body workout. Perfect for weight-loss, body-shape,and daily exercise.
  • 【Hydraulic Drive System】European standard hydraulic cylinder strengthen on the stair stepping fitness machine let you enjoy your stair stepping fitness in a quiet environment without disturbing others. The internal super-energy spring that protects the joints and provides a good cushioning effect. Pay attention that the hydraulic tube need rest after 20-minutes exercises.
  • 【Oversized Pedals】Our mini stair steppers use oversized pedals with silicone anti-skid pad as well as the skid-resistant floor protectors to keep your balance when you exercise. Rubber shock-absorb cushions keep mini step machine quite.

Last update on 2022-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Is a Mini Stepper Better Than Exercise Bike?

The main and perhaps most obvious way that the mini stepper beats the exercise bike is in its sheer convenience. Most mini steppers have been designed to be portable and discrete, allowing you to use them at home, at the office, or anywhere you wish to carry them.

Their small size even means you can have them underneath your desk, allowing you to squeeze in a cheeky workout whilst sitting answering emails or fielding calls. This has made them extremely popular with people who feel they have limited time to devote to focused exercise sessions. 

Mini Stepper vs Exercise Bike

If you suffer from mobility issues and find it difficult to stand for long periods of time, a mini stepper that can be used whilst sitting down could be a good option. Although this will burn less calories and give you less of a cardio boost than using it standing up, it will still work your posterior chain, improve blood flow, and increase your heart rate.  It will also leave you free to watch television, read a book, or even play video games whilst stepping away! 

Is Exercise Bike Better Than a Mini Stepper?

Exercise bikes may not be as convenient or as compact as mini steppers, but what they lack in convenience they can make up for in range. A decent exercise bike is likely to come with a greater variety of resistance levels and options when compared to a simple mini stepper.

Furthermore, to get a decent cardio workout on a mini stepper you usually need to use it standing up. This makes the mini stepper a weight bearing exercise machine which, for some people, can be problematic. The exercise bike is designed to be used without full weight bearing and you can reap the full benefits of its range of motion without needing to stand on your feet.  

Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands, Black

Therefore, for those wishing to work up a heavy sweat and get a rigorous cardio session in, whilst at the same time not bearing too much weight on their lower body, the exercise bike is going to be preferable. Mini steppers still have benefits for the user when used whilst sedentary, but the energy expended and the aerobic boost provided will be less.

If you have difficulty balancing you may also find the seated exercise offered by the bike a better option. Although mini steppers can come with resistance bands or, in some cases, handles to steady the user, they still require a greater degree of standing balance than the exercise bike. 

Finally, if you are looking to do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in order to boost your metabolism and your fitness, an exercise bike is likely to be better suited. Adjusting the resistance on exercise bikes is usually a more fluid affair than doing so on a mini stepper. You are also likely to be able to switch intensities more seamlessly when using a bike. 

Which Burns More Calories – Mini Stepper or Exercise Bike?

It is difficult to go beyond very loose estimates, as the number of calories burned using either piece of equipment is going to be dependent on your weight as well as the intensity at which you work out.

However, as a general guide, the exercise bike appears more likely to burn calories if operated at a moderate pace than a comparable session on the mini stepper. This is particularly true if you are operating the mini stepper whilst sitting down, in which case calories burned by the bike are likely to far exceed that burned by the stepper. 

You will see different estimates of how much each machine is likely to burn, but as a general guide, the average 155 lb person will burn roughly 220 – 260 calories on an exercise bike going at a moderate pace for half an hour. The same person is likely to burn between 175 and 240 calories on the mini-stepper over the same time period.

Which is More Expensive – Mini Stepper or Exercise Bike?

Mini steppers and exercise bikes are both marketed as affordable, practical additions to home gym set ups. You can find affordable models of both that will suit most modest home fitness budgets, though mini steppers tend to be slightly cheaper. 

Although it is possible to spend thousands of dollars on a high-end, commercial grade exercise bike, it is also possible to get a functional, reliable model for $400 to $700. Exercise bikes are a popular addition to home set-ups and consumers benefit from a great deal of market competition, with numerous manufacturers vying to provide good quality kit at competitive rates. 

Here is my favourite exercise bike that I always recommend to my clients:

Sale
YOSUDA Indoor Exercise Stationary Bike
  • 【Smooth Stationery Bike】35lbs flywheel and heavy-duty steel frame of the exercise bike guarantee the stability while cycling. The belt driven system provides a smoother and quieter ride than chain transport. It won’t disturb your apartment neighbors or sleeping kids.
  • 【Personalized Fit Exercise Bike】2-ways adjustable non-slip handlebar, 4-ways padded seat (inseam height 25-35in) and a large range of resistance give users a comfortable indoor riding experience. Workout your muscles / lose weight / enhance heart /lung function. 270 lbs weight capacity.
  • 【LCD Monitor and Ipad Mount】The LCD monitor on exercise bike tracks your time, speed, distance, calories burned and odometer. The gift Ipad holder allows you to enjoy exercising and music at the same time, making it easier to keep exercising.

Last update on 2022-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mini steppers are also geared towards the home gym and personal fitness market, rather than being seen as a piece of equipment used by professional gyms. Simply because of their smaller size, they are likely to come in cheaper than most exercise bikes of a similar build quality. For a decent mini stepper, you’re looking at spending between $150 and $300. 

Conclusion

If affordability, convenience, and physical space are primary factors for you, then the mini stepper is likely to be your first choice. If, however, ensuring that you can get tough aerobic workouts as well as gentler, more moderate sessions is important, then you may wish to focus your attention on the exercise bike. The latter is likely to offer a greater range of intensities and options than the mini stepper. 

For those with limited mobility, balance issues, or preexisting injuries, the machine that works best for you may depend on how you plan on using the mini stepper. If standing up, the mini stepper will be more of a weight bearing exercise than the exercise bike. However, it also provides the option of sitting down whilst working out, though the calorie-burn and aerobic pressure will be reduced. 

Exercise bikes can reliably offer a seated, non-weight bearing workout. They are also likely to require less balance and poise on the part of the user. 

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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!