Stair steppers have been around for years after being popularised in the 80s, and remain a solid home gym choice. They generate a swift cardio response, and can get you into optimum fat burning territory in minutes, though our reviewers find they get bored rather quick. Given the choice, we'd opt for the fluid elliptical motion of a cross trainer which also pumps yours arms over a stair stepper any day, but preferences vary.
Some stair steppers are very expensive, hefty models like you'd get in a gym, while on the other extreme are small foot paddles that simply rest on the floor--an excellent choice in the middle ground combining excellent features and durability with cheap cost of the Body Shape EX Strider Climbing Machine. This stepper has some sturdiness at 24 kilos and a 123 x 56 x 60 cm footprint. It has large handlebars and especially large, non-slip footplates, much better than the mini steppers out there which are really a waste of money. It has a hi-tech magnetic braking system and a high quality rubber belt for improved durability.
The computer is fairly basic, tracking calories burned, time, speed, distance, and scan, but lacks a pulse monitor. This is a pet peeve of ours, but we find that stepping is so intense a workout you'll have no trouble getting into your target cardio fat-burning zone, so it's less important with this than say, a bike. There is an adjustable tension so you can work at different levels of resistance, though it is a traditional stepper and there is no "striding" as the name might suggest.
Prices: The Body Shape EZ Strider Climbing Machine retails for £129.99, but you can get it much cheaper on Amazon for around £69.99.