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Stairmaster vs. Treadmill: How To Pick Which One Is Right For You!

Stairmaster vs. Treadmill: How To Pick Which One Is Right For You!

It is time to invest in a cardio machine, but the decision isn’t so obvious. You will be looking at the Stairmaster vs. treadmill to determine which is best. 

Getting the wrong machine for your fitness goals would be a costly mistake.

Instead, you can keep reading to learn more about the benefits of each to ensure you end up with the right fit for your needs. 

To pick between the Stairmaster and treadmill, you should figure out your budget, your fitness goals, and what type of exercises you want to accomplish. The Stairmaster is better for muscle gain and weight lifters, while the treadmill is better for runners and fat loss. 

There are many different types of cardio machines out there, but how do you know which one is best for you?

Well, that depends on the type of cardio workout you’re looking for.

This guide will compare a Stairmaster and a treadmill by highlighting the key benefits to help decide which works for you. 

The key to determining what suits you best is understanding what each piece of equipment can provide.

Stairmaster vs. Treadmill

One of the most popular machines that people use for exercise is the treadmill. It is a machine found in many gyms and fitness centers.

The other machine that people often use for exercise is the Stairmaster.

Whether you are looking for a good cardio routine or a convenient way to get in shape, you should consider the features of your treadmill and Stairmaster before making your decision.

The treadmill is perfect for you if you want to lose weight. The Stairmaster is your best option if you’re looking for an intense workout.

Both of these machines can provide an intense workout. The right choice ultimately depends on your fitness goals and ability. 

Below we look at some of the critical factors when measuring both of these options. This will help you decide which might work best for you. 


Treadmills are much cheaper than Stairmasters. You can get a decent treadmill for around $500, but Stairmasters are almost double the price in many instances.

Treadmills are also easier to use and maintain. The Stairmaster is an excellent piece of equipment, but it’s not always worth the price tag.

If you’re just starting your fitness routine and don’t have much money to spend, treadmills are much cheaper and better options for you.

Ease Of Use

Both treadmills and Stairmasters are ideal pieces of cardio equipment. They significantly differ in the style of workout they can provide and the way they are used. 

Both of these machines are great for burning calories, but they are very different in terms of how they work and what they offer. 

The treadmill is easier to use and is considered a more beginner-friendly machine. 

You simply get on and start walking, jogging, or running. As you get more experienced, you can try new things.

The Stairmaster is a bit different and may require added lower body strength to be successful right away. 

Weight Loss

In general, treadmills provide more of a cardiovascular workout than a strength workout. This is because they have moving parts that require the user to maintain an even pace while exercising.

Treadmills are typically used for cardio workouts, and Stairmasters are usually used for strength training to build muscle while doing cardio.

As a result, treadmills and Stairmasters can have different benefits for fat loss.

Both can provide a route to weight loss, but a treadmill will let you burn calories faster. 

Workout Type

There are many advantages to using a treadmill, such as changing speeds and incline settings or even going for a jog in place.

Stairmasters are an effective way to get a cardio workout. They can provide an intense cardio workout with minimal impact on your joints.

When using these machines, you can expect a much different workout.

Running on a treadmill will cause you to sweat more, and you can burn calories fast once you reach a certain intensity level. 

When using the Stairmaster, you can emphasize the lower body and climb rapidly to improve cardiovascular health and muscle gain. 


Benefits of Using a Stairmaster

A Stairmaster is an exercise machine with steps that move up and down in front of users as they walk or run on them. It provides a unique exercise experience. 

It can help you lose weight, tone your body, and improve your cardiovascular health.  

Excellent For Fat Loss

Stairmasters are one of the most popular machines used by people who want to lose weight or gain muscle.

They’re easy to use, affordable, provide a good workout, and can be found at most gyms. They are a safe and effective way to lose weight and gain muscle.

You can adjust the intensity of the workout too. As you get more experienced, you can increase the workout speed and lose more fat quickly. 

Improved Core Strength

Stairmasters are a great way to get a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home.

They are suitable for fat loss and muscle gain.

The best Stairmaster has several preset programs that make workouts easier to follow. The best ones also include instructional videos, so you can learn how to use them properly and avoid injury.

They are excellent for improving core strength because climbing the stairs requires balance and stability.

Easier On Your Knees

The most crucial benefit of using a Stairmaster is that it helps you exercise in a way that is less strenuous on your joints and muscles. That is especially true for your knees and ankles. 

Running and treadmill use can put added pressure on your knees. Landing on the treadmill platform consistently is shown to lead to long-term injuries. 

You can also use it to improve your cardiovascular health and reduce heart disease risk.

The Stairmaster is the better choice for you if you struggle with joint injuries. 

Versatile Workout Settings

People need to understand the importance of these machines for workouts. They are not just for exercise but also help improve a person’s overall health.

For example, you can access many different workout settings when using a Stairmaster. This includes the speed or incline level, giving you options to consider. 

You also can look at the pre-set workouts that are included. More advanced machines will provide better settings and features, allowing beginners to learn faster. 

Treadmill benefits

Benefits of Using a Treadmill

The benefits of using a treadmill are numerous. If you want to lose weight, then it is a good idea to use one. It can help you burn calories and keep your heart healthy.

Running on a treadmill is easy and convenient. It also helps you maintain your motivation by keeping the time you spend on it short.

Faster Calorie Burn

Running on a treadmill can provide excellent benefits if you are looking for a cardio workout. They are designed to be efficient and effective in burning calories and increasing the heart rate. 

You can expect to burn almost double the number of calories on average during an hour run compared to the Stairmaster. 

This is why runners will often favor the treadmill.

They can stay lean and focus on endurance and losing fat rather than increasing muscle. 


Treadmills are affordable and convenient pieces of cardio equipment that many people use for exercise.

They are also a popular piece of cardio equipment for those who want to lose weight or maintain their current weight.

Many entry-level treadmill models can be found for low costs to get started too. This is one of the critical benefits of treadmills compared to Stairmasters. 

Beginner Friendly

Treadmills are easier to use as they take less effort and provide a more natural motion.

They are also much better for beginners who are learning how to work out and do cardio.

They make it easy for beginners to exercise regularly. This is because the types of machines available vary with easy-to-adjust settings and speeds.

They also have built-in programs for specific workouts like running, walking, or going uphill on an incline. 

Optimal Safety Settings

Because a treadmill is great for a beginner, you can also expect better safety settings than a Stairmaster can offer. 

This includes emergency stop buttons, and some allow you to connect to the machine, and if you get too far back, it will automatically slow the treadmill down. This means you won’t fall off if it gets too fast. 

The speed buttons are easy to access, and you can set it up to slow down or speed up at certain times too.

You should not be too worried about any injuries because of these settings. 


Stairmaster vs. Treadmill: Which Is Better For Fat Loss?

Stairmasters and treadmills have their own benefits and disadvantages, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for before deciding which one to buy.

If you are measuring fat loss by total calories burned, the treadmill is the clear winner because you can burn calories faster. But this is only if you can keep up the intensity. 

The Stairmaster provides a different workout style, but burning calories will take longer than running at faster speeds on the treadmill. 

Treadmills offer a more intense workout because they have incline levels too. This means you can run uphill for a more challenging exercise.

Stairmaster vs. Treadmill: Which Is Better For Muscle Gain?

The decision between the two machines comes down to personal preference and your goals.

If you want to build muscle mass, then a Stairmaster is probably your best bet, but a treadmill would be ideal if you want to build endurance.

When working intensely on the Stairmaster, you activate many more muscles with a primary focus on your lower body and core.

This provides better strength and muscle gain benefits. 

Over time, this can cause issues for bodybuilders and weight lifters. Thirty minutes on the Stairmaster will do a lot for leaner muscle gain. 

Cardio Machine

What Is The More Effective Cardio Machine?

The Stairmaster is a good cardio machine because it has a high incline that allows your body weight to provide resistance as you work out. This makes the workout more intense and burns more calories.

Stairmasters are more versatile than treadmills because they can be used for walking, running, and climbing.

They also have more incline levels that can target specific muscles.

On the other hand, treadmills are better for those who want to burn calories and stay focused on their workout.

They also have a lot of programs that allow users to customize their activities by selecting the intensity level they want.

Summing Up Stairmaster vs. Treadmill

The treadmill is used by people looking to get an intense cardio workout. This is the faster way to see fat loss. 

If you want to burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health, then the treadmill is the best option for you. 

However, if you want to build muscle and increase strength, then the Stairmaster is better suited for you.

The best ultimately depends on your fitness goals. 

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.