Best Home Rowing Machine in 2020 (Reviews & Guide)

Best Home Rowing Machines

If you want a full-body workout at home, the best home rowing machine is your go-to! 

Finding the machine that fits all your needs and wants, as well as matches your budget, might be quite daunting. That is why the MedAlertHelp team is here to turn your shopping experience into a walk in the park. 

In a nutshell, our team combed through dozens of home rowers to compile the list of the machines worth your investment. In our search, we focused on the following criteria: resistance levels, size, comfort, construction quality, extra features, and value for money. 

All in all, we did all the heavy lifting so that you are left with the easiest part—selecting the machine that ticks your fancy. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in to find our picks!

Best Home Rowing Machine At a Glance

Product
Rating
Key Features
Website
1
OVERALL RATING
10
Expert Review
  • The best indoor rowing machine
  • Authentic rowing experience
  • 15+ programmed workouts
  • 15" seat for a comfortable row
  • Sleek and modern design
FROM: $ $899.99
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2
OVERALL RATING
9.9
Expert Review
  • The best dual-resistance rowing machine
  • Interactive trainer-led classes
  • Folds up to save space
  • 30 on-board workouts
FROM: $ 1,699.00
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3
OVERALL RATING
9.9
Expert Review
  • The best smart home rowing machine
  • Ergonomic design
  • Silent and smooth resistance
  • Extensive library of exercise classes
  • 30-day risk-free trial
FROM: $ 2,245.00
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4
OVERALL RATING
9.8
Expert Review
  • The best value smart rowing machine
  • Silent and smooth operation
  • Certified trainer-led classes
  • SpaceSaver® design
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
FROM: $ 1,403.00
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5
OVERALL RATING
9.7
Expert Review
  • The best rowing machine for the money
  • Durable elements
  • Quiet and powerful row
  • Adjustable console
FROM: $ 499.00
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6
OVERALL RATING
9.7
Expert Review
  • The best rowing machine under $500
  • 14 levels of resistance
  • Bluetooth data tracking
  • Coaching on MyCloudFitness App
  • Folds for easy storage
FROM: $ 497.24
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7
OVERALL RATING
9.6
Expert Review
  • Quietest rowing machine
  • 12 programs (manual and six pre-set)
  • Monitors heart rate and SPM
  • Easy to fold and move
  • Big footrests and padded handles
FROM: $ 639.99
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8
OVERALL RATING
9.4
Expert Review
  • The best foldable rowing machine
  • Adjustable console angle
  • Easy to assemble (under 20 min)
  • Excellent value for money
FROM: $ 266.99
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9
OVERALL RATING
9.3
Expert Review
  • The best air rowing machine
  • Adjustable resistance levels
  • Dual-belt system for extra security
  • Reliable and durable construction
  • Easy to assemble, transport, and store
FROM: $ 259.99
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10
OVERALL RATING
9.0
Expert Review
  • The best budget rowing machine
  • Manually-adjusted resistance
  • Durable steel frame
  • User-friendly LCD monitor
  • Ergonomic design
FROM: $ 159.00
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Top Ten Rowing Machine Reviews

  • Type: Water Rower
  • Resistance Levels: 6
  • Weight Limit: 350 lbs
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: 2-year parts, 1-year labor, the lifetime frame warranty
  • Price: $899.99

The XTERRA Fitness ERG650W Water Rower comes with all the features of a high-quality rowing machine, providing you with the natural flowing motion and stroke of real-life rowing but at a much lower price tag.

This good rowing machine has an advanced multi-impeller water tank with six resistance levels, providing a sufficient challenge for any user. The water tank is placed at 45 degrees to facilitate resistance adjustments, which have to be done manually by altering the tank’s water level. 

This machine is so durable that the frame is covered by a lifetime warranty, a rarity in the industry. The construction may be sturdy, but the rower is incredibly easy to move and store. It folds and rests vertically against a wall, making this the best-rated home rowing machine with water resistance. 

The 5.5″ LCD monitor isn’t particularly fancy, but it shows all the essentials like time, distance, calories burned, watts, and drag force. On top of that, it features over 15 programmed workouts to keep you motivated and add some range to your training. Finally, the 15’’ seat height adds to this machine’s convenience as you will be able to get on and off the rower with ease. 

PROS:
  • The best home gym rowing machine
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lifetime warranty on frame
CONS:
  • No interactive training
  • It’s a bit noisy
  • Type: Magnetic and Air Resistance
  • Resistance Levels: 26 (digital)
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Shipping: $199.00 threshold delivery
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 2-year parts, 1-year labor
  • Price: $1,699.00

When it comes to rowing machine comparison, the NordicTrack RW900 may be more expensive, but it’s unrivaled in terms of design, smart connectivity, and overall rowing experience. 

The RW900 comes with a free, one-year iFit Family Membership. This subscription provides you with access to interactive rowing sessions with personal trainers, which you can view on the machine’s impressive 22’’ Smart HD touchscreen.

The trainers don’t just give pointers as they also adjust your resistance levels depending on the workout. However, thanks to RW900’s dual-resistance design, you can always alter the tension manually through an air control located on the wheel. 

Coaching provided by this top rowing machine isn’t limited to rowing. Yoga and full-body toning classes are available within the iFit program, as well as personalized health and lifestyle coaching—from exercise to proper nutrition and sleep

In terms of design, the RW900 meets all the requirements for a comfortable, strain-free workout, including a molded seat, pivoting pedals, SoftTouch™ handles, and an oversized steel seat rail. It’s silent and compact, too—the ideal rowing machine for home use.  

PROS:
  • Dual-resistance rower
  • iFit coaching enabled
  • Generous warranty
CONS:
  • iFit membership isn’t free after the first year
  • Threshold delivery costs an extra $199.00

3. Hydrow Rower Review

OVERALL RATING 9.9
  • Type: Magnetic Rower
  • Resistance Levels: Multiple
  • Weight Limit: 375 lbs
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: 5-year frame, 1-year parts, 1-year labor
  • Price: $2,245.00

If you are willing to splurge a bit on the best athome rowing machine, the Hydrow should be your number one choice.

This machine features a sweat- and dust-resistant 22” touchscreen that gives you access to live workouts, on-demand classes, and even rower-free exercises, like yoga, pilates, and strength training. There is also a Live Outdoor Reality option with scenic backgrounds that will make you feel like you’re right on the river. 

The Hydrow app is mobile too, letting you connect and even compete with other users for extra motivation. But smart connectivity isn’t the only feature contributing to this rowing machine’s high ratings.  

Built of a durable aluminum and steel frame on a flat anthracite polymer body, it boasts a 10-roller seat roller system and low-stress handles for ultimate support and comfort. 

On top of that, the electromagnetic drag provides a full-body workout, as well as a silent and smooth stroke—the features most customers appreciate in their rowing machine.

PROS:
  • The best value rowing machine
  • Access to exercise classes
  • Pairs with the mobile app
CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Monthly membership costs $38.00
  • Extra charge for upright storage kit
  • Type: Magnetic Resistance
  • Resistance Levels: 24
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 1-year parts and labor
  • Price $1,403.00

Similar to the NordicTrack and the Hydrow mentioned above in our home gym rowing machine reviews, Proform 750R Rower incorporates smart tech into your workout, but at a much lower price. 

The rower comes free if you purchase an iFit Family Membership for three years. Similar to the NordicTrack, purchasing this subscription gives you access to interactive classes with certified trainers.

However, unlike the RW900, classes on this rower are streamed on a tablet that can be integrated into the console, but the device isn’t included in the purchase of this top-rated home rowing machine. 

The console does house a 5” easy-to-use display that monitors all your data. Each session is recorded and then used to create future exercises and nutrition plans tailored to your routine.

The rower itself is sturdy, well-built, and ergonomically engineered to give you the smoothest and comfiest row of your life. 

With 24 resistance levels, a small footprint, and low-noise production, the ProForm 750R Is an excellent piece of rowing exercise equipment even without the high-tech perks.

PROS:
  • Compact and foldable
  • User-friendly display
  • Free shipping and a 10-year warranty
CONS:
  • Sits too low on the ground for some users
  • Requires use of a personal tablet to connect to the iFit program
  • Type: Magnetic Resistance
  • Resistance Levels: 10
  • Weight Limit: 300 lbs
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: 10-year frame, 3-year parts, 1-year labor
  • Price: $499.00

The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower has all the elements you’ll need for a full-body, calorie-burning training session, more than one rowing machine review agrees. 

First off, it features a wide seat, large stable row pedals, and comfort grip handles—all designed to provide support and comfort.  And with ten levels of resistance to choose from, it’s ideal for any trainee. 

Next up is the LCD monitor that displays distance, time, strokes, calories, and pulse. The console’s angle can be adjusted, giving you a clear sight of the progress you’re making. 

Lastly, this rower can be folded and put away when not in use—an excellent benefit for trainees working with a limited amount of space.

PROS:
  • The best affordable rowing machine
  • Ten resistance levels
  • Comfortable and durable
CONS:
  • No preset programs
  • The seat might be too low for some users
  • Type: Magnetic Resistance
  • Resistance Levels: 14
  • Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: Varies by seller
  • Price: $497.24

If you’re looking for the best rowing machine for beginners and professional athletes, the Women’s Health Men’s Health Bluetooth Rower is the one for you.

Featuring a whopping 14 levels of resistance, this smooth and silent magnetic rower is perfect for users of all ages, genders, and fitness backgrounds.

Thanks to solid steel construction, a padded seat, and pivoting footrests, even long-session workouts will be comfortable. After you’re done, just fold up this compact rowing machine and store it out of the way. 

Best of all, this rower comes with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to access coaching videos, scenic routes, and a tailored program within the MyCloudFitness App. 

The smart tech also monitors watts, calories burned, time, distance, and strokes per minute—everything you need to stay on top of your progress.

PROS:
  • The best home rowing machine for the $500 budget
  • Suitable for all users
  • Bluetooth connectivity enabled
CONS:
  • Average weight capacity
  • Additional expenses for a premium subscription
  • Type: Magnetic Rower
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Weight Limit: 275 lbs
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: 5-year frame, 90-day monitor, 30-day parts
  • Price: $639.99

The Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower, rated as one of the best home rowing machines, combines a drum magnetic control system and electronic tension control to generate optimal friction for unbelievably smooth strokes. 

The sturdy aluminum frame, molded-foam padded seat, and non-slip foot pedals, on the other hand, allow you to stay in the proper position as well as remain comfortable during your training. 

The console houses an LCD monitor keeping track of the essential parameters like the number of strokes per minute, calories burned, and pulse. In addition, this rowing machine, deemed the best rowing machine for home by many customers, comes with preset programs adding tons of variety to your workout routine. 

The best feature of this model, however, is the noise level. Virtually  silent, it won’t disturb others and let you enjoy your exercise time while watching TV or listening to music. Combined with the fact that it folds for convenient storage makes this rower the best rowing machine for apartment settings.

PROS:
  • Incredibly quiet
  • Perfect for apartments
  • Drum magnetic control system and electronic tension control
CONS:
  • Not the most comfortable seat out there
  • Some complaints about poor packaging
  • Type: Magnetic Rower
  • Resistance Levels: 16
  • Weight Limit: 265 lbs
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Price: $266.99

Another excellent model for a small apartment is the ECHANFIT Foldable Rower, the best compact rowing machine on the market. 

This home rowing machine has a foldable design and transport wheels, allowing you to quickly put it away after a long workout. When folded, the rower is just 46” tall and 30” long—ideal for storing in closets and clearing up space for other purposes. 

Another feature that makes the ECHANFIT the best rowing machine for a home you share with other people is the quiet magnetic belt system, which not only provides a smooth rowing stroke but is also virtually noiseless. 

Other characteristics of this magnetic rower include ergonomically-designed handles, a padded seat, non-slip pedals, and a handy water bottle holder making sure you are comfy, secure, and hydrated as you burn calories. Plus, there is a tablet holder on the console, the angle of which can be adjusted according to your preferences. 

Finally, this fitness device has an impressive 16 levels of resistance, offering a vast range of exercise intensity options.

PROS:
  • Best rowing machine for a compact home gym
  • Great value for money
  • 16 resistance levels
CONS:
  • Can feel a little flimsy at higher settings
  • The tablet holder isn’t placed conveniently
  • Type: Air Resistance
  • Resistance Levels: Multiple
  • Weight Limit: 300 lbs
  • Shipping: $8.99
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
  • Price: $259.99

When it comes to experiencing the dynamic response of real-life rowing, air rowers are the best type of rowing machine. And taking the number one spot in that category is the MaxKare Air Fan Rower. 

In addition to air resistance, which increases tension the harder you pull, the MaxKare uses a dual belt transmission system for extra resistance as well as stability and security.  

This rower is recommended as an amazing method for the alleviation of joint, back, and shoulder aches, and it works wonderfully in combination with the best pain-relieving supplements

The machine includes a built-in monitor, as well. Even though it only shows fundamentals, home rowing machine reviews say that it provides all the info you need for the ultimate training session. Plus, it has a tablet holder so you can watch videos as you work out.

Last but not least, MaxKare Air Fan Rower is ergonomically designed (it has a PU contoured seat and two adjustable foot platforms for extra comfort), doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it’s foldable to boost. 

All these features put this exercise equipment on the list of top rowing machines in 2020.

PROS:
  • Best air rower
  • Smooth, intuitive resistance
  • Padded seat and adjustable footrests
CONS:
  • Monitor only shows fundamentals
  • Short warranty coverage
  • Type: Hydraulic Rower
  • Resistance Levels: 12
  • Weight Limit: 330 lbs
  • Shipping: Free
  • Warranty: 90-day
  • Price: $159.00

This simple, no-frills rower is possibly the best inexpensive rowing machine you can buy right now. 

The Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine has a molded, gliding seat that supports your neck and back with each stroke, while the pivoting footplates ensure you keep proper form throughout your workout.

There is an LCD screen, as well, that displays various parameters, such as row count and calories burned—taking all the guesswork out of your exercise routine. 

Incredibly easy to use, this rower comes with a control knob that lets you manually choose one of the 12 resistance settings. Rowing machine reviews point out that even the lower setting will give you a pretty good workout, whereas the higher levels are reserved for elite athletes. 

Finally, this rower can be easily folded and tucked away, making it one of the most compact rowing machines out there. All in all, if you are looking for a budget option that comes with design and tech perks, you should most certainly look into the Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine.

PROS:
  • The best cheap rowing machine
  • Easy-to-use LCD monitor
  • Great for beginners
CONS:
  • Some complaints about missing parts
  • Pistons can overheat
  • The monitor doesn’t show many parameters

How We Compiled the List of the Best Rowing Machines for 2020

When compiling our list of the highest-rated rowing machines, we followed a set of strict criteria to ensure that only the best made the cut.

Here’s a closer look at what we took into consideration. 

Build Quality and Comfort 

One of the first things we considered was the quality of materials used, the sturdiness of the construction, and its design.

All the devices in our best home rowing machine reviews are ergonomically-designed and made of top-notch, durable steel frames providing the stability you need for the perfect rowing session. 

Adjustability 

In our rankings, we listed rowing machines with multiple resistance levels meeting every kind of user’s needs—from a complete beginner to a professional athlete. 

Ease of Use

When compiling our rankings, we considered how simple the machine is to assemble and use. 

We looked at storage options, as well, giving more points to the best indoor rowing machines that can fold and be tucked away when you’re not using them, thus maximizing the amount of usable space in your home. 

Extra Features

All the rowing machines on our list are equipped with LCD monitors that display basic parameters and track your progress. We also looked into how well-lit the monitors are since it’s paramount for a smooth user experience.

Price 

The best rowing machine doesn’t have to break the bank. 

That’s why we incorporated models in every price range, i.e., rowers that do not compromise quality and functionality but are still sold at competitive prices. 

Warranty 

We also ranked brands with generous warranty policies higher on the list, ensuring that you are covered in case of defective products and any damages that might occur.

User Reviews 

In the end, we looked at both positive and negative customer reviews to complete our list of the best-rated indoor rowers out there.

How to Choose the Best Rowing Machine for Home Use

Finding the right indoor rowing machine for your needs can be a time-consuming task. 

To help make the search easier, we listed the most important factors you need to consider when shopping for home rowers. 

Look Into the Type of Resistance 

Generally, there are four variations of a rowing machine, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

  • Air rowing machines are the best, most popular, and most commonly used indoor rowing machines. Also known as flywheel rowers, these top-rated rowing machines successfully mimic the feel and impact of outdoor rowing. Resistance is provided from the pulling motion. In other words, the harder you pull, the more tension is created. The only downside is that air rowers can be quite noisy, so not the best if you want to exercise without disturbing others.
  • Magnetic rowing machines are known for providing a smooth rowing stroke and a fantastic cardio workout. They have multiple levels of resistance and are incredibly compact. The best part, magnetic rowers are practically noiseless (there is no friction and thus no sound), making them the best-rated rowing machines for an apartment. 
  • The latest innovation in rowing tech is the water rowing machine, getting you as close as possible to the sound and the feel of outdoor rowing. As with air rowers, the harder you row, the more intense the resistance and the training will be. Plus, you get the natural smooth motion you would experience if you were on actual water. The disadvantage: water rowing machines can be quite bulky. They tend to be more expensive than other rowing machines for home use, too. 
  • Although considered by many as outdated, hydraulic rowing machines are still used primarily because of their small and compact size, noiseless operation, and low cost. Nevertheless, users say that these machines don’t offer the same smooth rowing action as air or water rowers. 

Find the Optimal Size 

One of the most important factors to consider before buying a top-rated rowing machine is size.

Keep in mind that the machine needs to be compact enough to fit into your home but still big enough so you can straighten your legs and get into the proper rowing position. 

This can be a challenge, especially if you live in a small apartment, so it might be best to find a rowing machine that folds up for easy and convenient storage.

Go With Comfort and Ergonomic Construction  

The best-rated rowing machine must have a stable construction for you to get a full-body workout without experiencing muscle strains and aches or workout-related injuries that could result in chronic pain.

In addition, it should be designed with the user’s comfort in mind. This includes a supportive seat, secure footrests, and padded handles. 

Double-Check Resistance Levels

It’s important to find a rowing machine with a variety of resistance options that can meet your needs – whether you’re just starting out or have been rowing for years. 

Look Up Extra Features 

Some rowing machines come with a very basic setup like a monitor that tracks calories burned, distance, and speed. 

More advanced rower machines for sale, on the other hand, monitor additional parameters, including heart rate, strokes per minute, watts, and drag. Others have extra features, like access to professional coaching videos and interactive classes or display screens that will make you think you’re actually on water. 

Be aware that the more features a rowing machine has, the higher the price tag. 

Bottom Line

A good home rowing machine delivers all the benefits of exercise, such as losing weight,  building up power, muscles, and endurance. And all that from the comfort of your own home. What can beat that?

Hopefully, our reviews of the best home rowers will help you choose the perfect product and help you get in great shape in no time. 

FAQs

Which is the best rowing machine for home use?

Finding the best depends on several factors, some of which are personal preferences, like space and budget you’re working with. Once you determine what kind of home rower you want, make sure that it comes with a generous warranty, is comfortable, as well as easy to assemble, use, and store. 

Are rowing machines worth it?

When it comes to losing weight and building muscle, rowing machines are just as effective as some of the more popular fitness devices, including treadmills and bikes. 

Is rowing the best full-body workout?

Despite popular belief, rowing doesn’t just affect your upper body. In fact, this exercise engages about 86% of muscles in your body, so you get one of the best full-body, cardio, and calorie-burning workouts. 

Are magnetic or air rowers better?

Air and magnetic rowers are the most popular machines in use.

Both provide smooth, rowing action. However, air rowers are closer to the authentic rowing experience, whereas magnetic rowers are quieter and more compact. 

If you can’t decide between the two, you can always find a rowing machine that combines air and magnetic resistance for the best of both worlds.

Is a rowing machine better than a treadmill?

Rowing provides a similar cardiovascular workout as a treadmill. One of the most significant differences is that rowing builds up your core, boosts your heart rate, and increases strength and endurance. What’s more, the best home rowing machine is easier on the joints and knees than a treadmill, providing a more comfortable, low-impact workout.