Pro 6 Aspen StairMill vs STEPR: Which Is Best for Your Home?

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By Alex
Published on

The Pro 6 Aspen StairMill is one of the few compact stepmills on the market. That alone makes it a competitor to the STEPR Stair Climber since both units are designed for at-home use in low-ceiling spaces.

While both units are compact and capable of delivering challenging workouts, they are otherwise quite different, from aesthetics to performance to technology.

On this page, I’ll give you a detailed comparative analysis of both of these machines so you can choose the best compact stair climber for your needs.

RELATED: Read my super detailed STEPR Stair Climber review

Key Specs

SpecificationPro 6 Aspen StairMillSTEPR
Height68”82”
Length44”42”
Width26”27.5”
Weight222 lbs286 lbs
Step Height6”5.2”
Step Width17”15.7”
Step Depth9”8.7”
Steps Per Minute30 to 12024 to 137
Step-on HeightN/A15.2”
Minimum Ceiling Height8’8’
Price$3,995$4,999

Design and Footprint

STEPR Stair Climber - Recommended Space

Looking at the physical dimensions and maneuverability, the STEPR comes with a modern, sleek aesthetic. It measures 42″ L x 27.5″ W, fitting comfortably in almost any home gym space.

On the flip side, the Pro 6 Aspen StairMill opts for a more straightforward, less flashy design but maintains a similar footprint to the STEPR, measuring just 44″ L x 26″ W.

Aspen Pro 6 Stairmill Review

Both machines allow most users to step in rooms with 8’ ceilings.

The STEPR weighs in at 286 lbs. Despite the moderately heavy weight, relocating it isn’t too much of a hassle. This is thanks to the built-in wheels combined with removable lift handles that allow you to tilt it with leverage from the base and maneuver it similar to a wheelbarrow.

The Pro 6 Aspen StairMill is lighter than the STEPR, weighing in at 222 lbs. It also features built-in wheels for easy relocation within your workout space. However, it lacks the convenience of lift handles.

Performance and Features

STEPR Stair Climber - Things to Consider Before Buying

When it comes to workout performance and features, the STEPR stands out with its “Step Sync” technology (coming soon), allowing users to automatically match the rhythm and pace of the coach in STEPR’s on-demand classes. If you can’t match the coach’s pace, you can independently reduce the speed, while maintaining rhythm with the coach.

In contrast, the Pro 6 Aspen StairMill is a bare-bones cardio machine. There are no on-demand classes available and no equivalent technology to STEPR’s “Step Sync” feature.

For speed changes, the STEPR relies on an Exact Force Induction Brake, ensuring smooth and precise speed changes. The speed range is from 24 steps per minute on the low end up to 137 steps per minute for the top speed. The top speed will be sufficient for most trainees, even for HIIT. Only the most advanced trainees may want greater speeds.

The Pro 6 Aspen StairMill has a more limited step range from 30 to 120 steps per minute. This provides a max speed sufficient for most scenarios, but the top speed may be limiting for advanced users doing HIIT sprints.

To adjust speed, the Aspen StairMill uses an electromagnetic braking system, a similar mechanism to the STEPR. It’s powered by the user’s effort in climbing steps and brakes harder to slow the pace and letting up to quicken it. However, some users have reported that speed changes aren’t the smoothest on the Aspen.

As far as step height goes, both the STEPR and the Pro 6 Aspen have notably smaller steps than commercial stair climbers, which are usually around 9” tall. This is due to the compact nature of these two models.

Aspen Pro 6 StairMill - Stairs Closeup

However, the Aspen does beat out the STEPR with a taller 6” step, making it about three-quarters of an inch higher than the STEPR’s 5.2” steps. This makes each step a bit more challenging, assuming the same speed.

STEPR Stair Climber - Measuring Step Height

The STEPR and Pro 6 Aspen use different mechanisms for tracking heart rate. The STEPR uses only a wireless (Bluetooth) chest strap monitor and the Aspen uses only contact monitors in the handles. The contact monitors are more convenient, but the wireless chest strap is more accurate.

Notably, the STEPR will support Apple Watch (and other smartwatches) integration in a future software update, allowing for wireless transfer of real-time heart rate stats. This will improve convenience for smartwatch owners.

Connectivity and User Interface

STEPR Stair Climber - Personal Bests

The STEPR sports a 27″ 1080p touchscreen with nearly 360º of rotation, allowing for a seamless viewing experience of entertainment (i.e. streaming) or on-demand classes regardless of whether you’re in front of or behind the unit.

It features dual front- and rear-facing speakers for a sufficiently loud and clear audio experience, even when the machine is on its fastest/loudest setting.

The STEPR supports WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB-C. You can charge your phone or wear wireless headphones while training. There is no HDMI port so mirroring your phone on the touchscreen is not possible.

STEPR Stair Climber - Volume Buttons - USB-C Port - Headphone Jack

Conversely, the Aspen StairMill adopts a minimalistic approach with no speakers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, HDMI, or any other connectivity features. There’s no use for those features considering it opts for basic digital readouts to display workout stats instead of an actual monitor.

Aspen Pro 6 Stairmill - Console

Durability and Safety Features

The STEPR is constructed with a sturdy carbon steel frame and a durable molded ABS chassis, both of which are robust enough for an in-home training environment. It feels quite sturdy even when stepping at or near max speeds – and I weigh 215 lbs. Long-term durability is still to be determined, but I’m optimistic that it will last based on what I’ve experienced thus far.

The Aspen StairMill’s bare-bones design and lack of advanced technology (e.g. no touchscreen display, no electrical drive motor) bode well for longevity. Less complexity generally means greater durability. However, some users have complained of drive chain issues.

Aspen Pro 6 Stairmill - Front

The STEPR has a sweat management system to extend the longevity of the machine. This is important because electrical failure from moisture exposure is a common cause of failure on cardio machines. The STEPR tackles this in two ways:

  • A raised lip around the top surface of the chassis. This prevents sweat that falls on top of the chassis from rolling down the insides of it, under the staircase, and into the internals. Instead, it diverts it off the side of the machine.
  • A metal encasement around all of the internal electrical components. Sweat is bound to get in. So when it does, this acts as a barrier. The STEPR has been salt water spray tested to ensure this system actually works.
STEPR Stair Climber - Sweat Management Features

The Pro 6 Aspen lacks a raised lip on the chassis to divert sweat away from the steps and the internals, which is too bad because that’s an easy design element. I’m sure there is some type of encasement around the electrical components, but they don’t mention it specifically. However, that is a commonplace feature of cardio equipment; how well it’s done is a different story.

The STEPR incorporates safety features like manual killswitches, and auto-sensing emergency stop functions if the user jumps or falls off, or if something comes too close to the base of the steps.

While the Pro 6 Aspen StairMill doesn’t have as many safety features as the STEPR (e.g. no manual killswitches), it does have a step lock system that automatically halts the machine if the user descends beyond the lowest step.

Price and Warranty

STEPR Stair Climber - Budget Considerations

Cost and warranty are essential factors for many buyers.

The STEPR comes with a higher price tag of $4,999, justified by its high-tech features and connectivity options. You must also consider the cost of an optional monthly subscription if you want access to all features.

The Pro 6 Aspen StairMill is a more budget-friendly choice at $3,995, delivering a straightforward yet effective workout experience. However, when you’re already spending this much money, you have to weigh whether just $1,000 in savings is worth missing out on the advanced features of the STEPR.

Aspen Pro 6 Stairmill - Side

Of course, you don’t have to consider monthly costs for an optional subscription with the Aspen StairMill.

Regarding warranties, the STEPR comes out on top, offering a superior 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and a 1-year labor warranty.

And you can actually get an even longer and stronger 36-month extended warranty for free using code KING at check out. This is a $259.99 value. Just make sure you add the 36-month warranty to your card before applying the coupon code. If you want even longer warranty protection on the STEPR, you can pay for these extended warranty options:

In comparison, the Pro 6 Aspen StairMill offers just a 1-year warranty for parts and labor. They do not list a frame warranty duration.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both the STEPR and Pro 6 Aspen StairMill offer effective stair-climbing workouts in a compact form factor that allows for stepping workouts in rooms with ceilings as low as 8’.

However, the STEPR decisively wins when it comes to performance, tech, looks, and warranty.

If you value advanced features, immersive on-demand workouts with “Step Sync” technology (coming soon), and a large touchscreen with entertainment options, the STEPR Stair Climber is your go-to.

If you’re after a simpler, somewhat more budget-friendly machine, the Pro 6 Aspen StairMill could be a better choice for you.

If you’ve made a decision, you can purchase using the links below:

Still aren’t sure which compact stair climber is best for your home gym? Check out my other resources here:

Alex from King of the Gym
Author
Hey! My name is Alex and I'm the founder and author of King of the Gym. I've been lifting weights seriously since 2005 in high school when I started a home gym in my parents' basement. I started writing about fitness in 2009. Then, in 2014, I got into writing home gym equipment reviews and I haven't looked back. My current home gym is in my own house and it's constantly growing and evolving. My goal is to help you build the home gym of your dreams! Read more about me here.

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