Which is Better For Weight Loss: Stairmaster or Treadmill?

Regular cardio, lifting weights, and a well-balanced diet are key to any weight loss regimen.

Cardiovascular activity is key in modulating both mental and physical health. It can lower blood pressure, increase stamina, strengthen the heart, and ward off many illnesses.

Cardio can be easily performed at home or in the gym using a stairmaster or treadmill. However, the two equipments work in different ways. In this article, we will examine how to choose the best machine to suit your fitness goals.

Stairmaster v/s Treadmill: Which is better for weight loss?


1) For cardio

While the Stairmaster is an excellent option for cardio, it’s mainly suited for short, high intensity workouts. The difficulty level can also be a bit higher than a treadmill.

The treadmill features a natural movement pattern. So, it’s easy to have longer duration, lower intensity workouts on a treadmill than on a Stairmaster.

Better choice: Treadmill

2) Calorie Burn

The typical calorie burn for those using a StairMaster is in the range of 180-260 calories for 30 minutes of exercise. The treadmill, meanwhile, burns around 100-300 calories for the same duration of activity.

Better Choice: Stairmaster

3) Level of Impact

Both machines are ideal for low impact cardio workouts. However, a treadmill is a better option for people suffering from knee pain for the following reasons:

  • Adjustable incline
  • Variable pace

However, a Stairmaster requires more exertion around the knee, ankle, and hip joint. It may often be a difficult workout for the elderly or those in rehabilitation. It’s also not comfortable for people with back injuries.

Better Choice: Stairmaster

4) For Bodybuilding

The treadmill is more focused on building overall fitness and improving endurance. The Stairmaster, meanwhile, is effective in working the lower body muscles.

Your choice of equipment will depend on your goals. While cutting, treadmills would be the ideal choice for longer, low impact cardiovascular activity. Meanwhile, while bulking, the Stairmaster is a superior choice, as it can work the lower body and help maintain cardiovascular capacity through interval training.

Better Choice for Cutting: Treadmill

Better Choice for Bulking: Stairmaster

5) For weight loss

Weight loss is a simple process. If you’re in a caloric deficit, the body starts using fat stores, which leads to fat loss. You can add to the deficit by performing cardio or increasing your daily activity.

You can accelerate the weight loss process by performing HIIT workouts.

Read about sample workout options for treadmill and Stairmaster.

Best Choice: Whichever you stick with on a regular basis

6) Cost

Treadmills are generally less expensive. Be wary of low quality models, though, as they do not have adequate protection for the joints. While a Stairmaster is more expensive, it’s a reliable piece of equipment and is ideal for more intense workouts.

Better Choice: Stairmaster


While both are good options as discussed above, the better option would be the Stairmaster. It’s routinely used by bodybuilders nowadays during contest preparation.

Better Choice: Stairmaster


Let’s make your choice simple:

For intense, short workouts: Stairmaster

For longer, leisurely workouts: Treadmill (can step up the intensity when required)

For overall best for weight loss: Treadmill

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