Magnetic levitation systems are able to provide frictionless, reliable, fast and economical operations in wide-range applications. The effectiveness and applicability of these systems require precise feedback control designs because the magnetic levitation is an unstable process and have highly nonlinear dynamics. In this article, a robust sliding mode-based cascade control approach is proposed for effectively tracking the reference position of a magnetic levitation system. The magnetic levitation plant is described with electrical and mechanical models, and the control problems of these parts are treated with cascade controllers. An integral sliding mode and an output feedback sliding mode controllers are designed for use in the cascade loops. The performance of the sliding mode controllers is compared with a proportional-integral-velocity plus proportional-integral control structure. It is shown that the proposed control structure is able to provide a highly satisfactory tracking performance and can eliminate the effects of the inductance-related uncertainties and operating point originated disturbances. The experimental results are provided to validate the efficacy and feasibility of the approach.