Best Rowing Machines [2023 In-Depth Guide]

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Are you looking for the best rowing machines available in 2023?

You’re not alone. Rowing is one of the best ways to get full body exercise at home and they have become super popular lately.

With so many options available, it can be tough to decide which one to get.

But don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Whether you’re into high-tech streaming rowers or classic machines, there’s something for everyone.

The trick to finding your perfect rower is just figuring out what you’re looking for and what features matter most to you. And guess what? That’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this guide.

We’ll break down all the different types of rowers, give you the lowdown on the specs and features to keep an eye out for and recommend the top home rower for you.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have all the info you need to pick the best rowing machine for your home gym.

So let’s dive in!

Our TOP Pick

Aviron Impact Series Rower

I love this rower!

The entertainment options are almost endless – games, live classes, scenic rows, competitions Netflix etc….

Which means you enjoy using it. Which means you use it. Which means you get fitter!

It’s awesome.

Best Indoor Rower: Our Top Picks

Best Rowing Machine Overall: Aviron Impact Series Rower (check price)

Best Overall Runner-Up: Concept2 Row Erg (See price at Amazon)

Best Budget Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower (see price)

Types of Indoor Rowing Machines

Rowing machines come in several different types, each with its unique features and benefits.

If you’re in the market for a rowing machine, it’s essential to understand the different types available so that you can choose the one that’s best suited for your fitness goals and budget.

First, there are air rowers, which are the most common type of rowing machine. Air rowers use a flywheel to generate resistance, and the resistance level is determined by how hard you row.

These machines provide a smooth, realistic rowing experience and are generally more affordable than other types of rowing machines.

Next up are magnetic rowers, which use electromagnets to create resistance. These machines offer a wide range of resistance levels, making them ideal for people of all fitness levels. They are also much quieter than air rowers, making them perfect for use in apartments or other shared living spaces.

Water rowers, on the other hand, use a water tank to create resistance, mimicking the feel of rowing on water. They are typically the most expensive type of rowing machine, but they provide a realistic rowing experience and a soothing sound as you row.

Finally, there are hydraulic rowers, which use hydraulic pistons to create resistance. These machines are compact and affordable, making them a great choice for people with limited space or budget. However, they can be noisy and have a less realistic rowing experience than other types of rowing machines.

Each type of rowing machine has its advantages and disadvantages. I’ve described this in way more detail at the end of the post, but for now, let’s check out the best rowers for home gyms.

The 12 Best Home Rowing Machines

Aviron Impact Series Rower

If you are looking for a high-tech rower that will keep you engaged and motivated during your workouts then the Aviron Impact Series Rower has to be high on your list (it’s our top pick).

While it may be one of the newer streaming rowers on the market, it certainly doesn’t skimp when it comes to workout and entertainment options.

With 16 magnetic levels and a combo system utilizing both magnetic and air resistance, the Impact Series offers a wide range of resistance options to keep your workouts challenging and effective. And with a weight capacity of up to 397 lb, this rower is built to last.

But what really sets the Impact Series apart is Aviron’s impressive streaming platform, accessed via the 22″ HD touchscreen console.

With a variety of interactive games, coached programs, scenic rows, and even competitive races to choose from, you’ll never run out of new ways to challenge yourself.

And if you need a break from your workout, you can even access your favorite entertainment apps directly from the console.

Best of all, Aviron’s streaming service is one of the most affordable around, at just $25/month.

So if you’re looking for a rower that combines high-tech features with a wide range of streaming options, the Aviron Impact Series is definitely worth checking out.


Get ready to row your way to fitness with the ultimate rowing machine – the Hydrow!

You’ve probably already heard of it, with its catchy commercials all over TV.

Dubbed as “the Peloton of rowers”, the Hydrow offers a huge 22″ HD touchscreen display for streaming workouts, making it an incredible hi-tech addition to any home gym.

But there’s more to the Hydrow than just its stunning display. With a single piece frame that can support up to 375 lb, and can be stored vertically, the Hydrow is both sturdy and space-saving.

Plus, the one-of-a-kind magnetic resistance system allows you to digitally select the drag on a 0-300 scale, giving you a smooth and quiet workout that can be customized to your skill level.

The streaming workouts on the Hydrow are filmed on real bodies of water all over the world, so you can truly experience the sensation of rowing on water.

And with a monthly subscription fee of $44, you get access to over 4,000 on-demand workouts, including Pilates, yoga, and strength training, along with live on-the-water workouts with Olympians and world-class rowers.

But the Hydrow is not just about offering the most advanced rowing machine on the planet. They also give back, with every Hydrow workout contributing towards a donation to, a foundation that provides access to clean water around the world.

Sure, the Hydrow isn’t cheap, but if you’re looking for the ultimate rowing machine with a touch of luxury, then the Hydrow is definitely worth the investment.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to row your way to a healthier and happier you!

(Psssst – If you have a lower budget, Hydrow now offer a more affordable option, the Hydrow Wave, which is lighter, foldable, and comes in several vibrant colors.)

Concept2 RowErg

Looking for a rowing machine that’s trusted by Olympic athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world? Look no further than the Concept2 RowErg.

With a sleek design and powerful performance, this air rower uses a fan to provide resistance – so the harder you pull, the more resistance you feel. And with a damper for the flywheel, you can fine-tune the feel of your workout to your liking.

But what really sets the RowErg apart is its sophisticated PM5 monitor. This impressive piece of tech can track all your workout stats and even comes with pre-programmed workouts and competitive games to keep you engaged and motivated.

And don’t worry about durability – the RowErg is built like a tank, with a solid, welded steel frame that can hold users up to 500 lb.

At just under $1k, the Concept2 RowErg is a steal for anyone looking for a top-quality air rower that can handle even the most strenuous workouts. So why wait?

Start rowing towards your fitness goals today with one of the most popular air rowers in the world!

Ergatta Rower

Coming in next is the Ergatta, a smart rowing machine that’s both a piece of art and a high-performing fitness machine.

The solid cherry wood frame not only looks stunning, but it’s also built to last, with a weight capacity of up to 500 lb.

And let’s not forget the console – a large 17.3″ screen mounted in the front that offers game-oriented workouts to make exercising more fun.

But what sets the Ergatta apart from other streaming machines is that it’s the first water roweing machine on the market that offers streaming workouts.

For only $29/month, you get access to racing workouts and custom pacing options that take the tedium out of exercising.

With its smooth-acting water resistance system, the Ergatta offers an unparalleled rowing experience that’s easy on the joints.

If you’re looking for a water rower that functions as a piece of art and gives you access to streaming workouts, the Ergatta is a top contender.

It’s no surprise that it’s a close call between Hydrow and Aviron for the top spot.

NordicTrack RW900

If you’re a budget-conscious shopper who still wants to get in on the streaming rowing action, you won’t want to miss out on the NordicTrack RW900.

This beauty comes equipped with a 22″ HD touchscreen display, just like its more expensive rivals, allowing you to tap into thousands of on-demand workouts right from the comfort of your own home.

As NordicTrack is part of the ICON family, the NordicTrack RW900 rower runs on iFit, a top-of-the-line streaming app that not only offers rowing workouts but also a plethora of strength training and cardio options.

Although the RW900 may not be the most advanced streaming rower on the market, it certainly holds its own.

Its magnetic resistance system provides smooth, consistent resistance for a realistic rowing experience, and with 26 digital levels to choose from, you’ll have complete control over the intensity of each workout.

While the RW900 may not be quite as heavy-duty as some of its competitors, boasting a max weight capacity of 250 lb, it does have a space-saving vertical folding design that’s perfect for those with limited space.

Plus, you can take advantage of the automatic trainer control function that automatically adjusts your resistance to match what the instructors are telling you to do. It’s a great feature, but you can always adjust things manually if you prefer.

For just under $40/month, iFit’s monthly fee is a bit pricier than some, but it’s still a reasonable rate for access to such a robust library of workouts. And with one of the best warranties in the industry, the RW900 is definitely a rower worth considering.

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine 

Looking for a rowing machine that provides an authentic rowing experience without all the bells and whistles of a streaming workout?

Look no further than the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine. Made by the same folks who supply Ergatta, this machine is constructed with a beautiful and durable Ash hardwood frame that can withstand heavy commercial use.

What really sets this machine apart is its water resistance system, which mimics the feel of rowing with oars on a boat and produces a soothing sound of water swooshing.

The Club model also boasts a sophisticated display monitor with built-in workout programs and advanced metric tracking.

And don’t let the hardwood construction fool you – this machine can support up to 700 lbs without the hi-rise attachment, making it safe for users of all sizes.

While it can’t fold due to its construction, it can be stored vertically when not in use.

With several finishes available at different price points, the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine is a fantastic option for anyone looking to bring the experience of rowing on the water into their home gym.

Peloton Row

Get ready to hit the water with the Peloton Row – the latest addition to the Peloton fitness family! This machine promises to provide you with an immersive rowing experience from the comfort of your own home.

The Peloton Row is designed with a sleek and modern appearance that will complement any home gym setup.

It is equipped with a 22-inch HD touchscreen display that allows you to stream live and on-demand rowing classes from Peloton’s world-renowned instructors, providing an engaging and motivating workout experience.

But, what sets this machine apart from other rowers is its electromagnetic resistance system.

This innovative technology allows for a smooth and quiet rowing experience that’s almost as if you were gliding through the water.

The Peloton Row has a resistance range of 1-100, offering an impressive range of intensity levels to challenge both beginners and experienced rowers.

This rower has adjustable footrests, ergonomic handles, and a comfortable seat to ensure that you have a comfortable and safe rowing experience. The machine is also compact and easy to store, making it an excellent addition to any home gym.

While the Peloton Row comes with a hefty price tag, it is an investment in your health and fitness journey. Plus, with access to the Peloton’s extensive library of workouts and community, you’ll have all the motivation and support you need to achieve your fitness goals.

BodyCraft VR500 Rower

The BodyCraft VR500 is a rowing machine that can hold its own against the best, even if it does come with a slightly high price tag.

This machine uses both magnetic and air systems to create resistance, giving you the best of both worlds. You get the power associated with air rowers, but the quiet and consistent resistance that magnetic rowers are known for.

With 32 levels of magnetic resistance, the VR500 offers plenty of options to challenge yourself.

And one of the coolest features? You can adjust the resistance level straight from the handlebar while you’re rowing.

But the VR500 isn’t just about resistance levels – it’s also built for comfort and durability. The seat is extra padded for a more comfortable workout, and the long rail and sturdy frame make it a great choice for larger users.

The monitor on this machine is also more advanced than your typical home rower, with 12 workout programs, heart rate monitoring, and even racing modes.

And with an amazing residential warranty (lifetime frame, 7 year parts, 1 year wear items, 2 year labor), you can trust that this machine is built to last. It’s even rated for light commercial use!

Don’t sleep on the BodyCraft VR500. If you’re looking for a quiet, durable, and comfortable rowing machine that can stand up to the toughest workouts, this is definitely one to consider.

Life Fitness Row HX Trainer

Life Fitness is a household name when it comes to top-of-the-line commercial gym equipment.

So, it might surprise you to see their Row HX Trainer sitting a little lower on the list compared to Ergatta’s and WaterRowers.

But don’t let that fool you. Life Fitness is a brand that knows how to deliver premium quality fitness gear, and its residential lineup is no exception.

What you’ll get with the Row HX Trainer is a water rower that’s built to last. It’s a no-nonsense machine with a durable wooden frame and a rapid adjusting water tank.

You can easily add or remove water with the turn of a dial, giving you up to 4 levels of resistance to fine-tune your workout experience.

This rowing machine boasts a max weight capacity of 330 lbs, and while the wooden frame may not fold, it can be stored vertically to save space.

The LCD monitor displays all your essential workout metrics, and it’s even heart rate monitor compatible.

Life Fitness stands behind its products, and the HX Trainer is no exception.

With a solid warranty, you can trust that this heavy-duty rower will keep up with even your most intense workouts.

So, if you’re looking for a reliable and straightforward water rower from a brand you can trust, the Row HX Trainer is definitely worth considering.

Echelon Smart Rower

Echelon’s Smart Rower offers a budget-friendly option for those who want to enjoy the benefits of streaming rowing workouts, especially if you already have a tablet at home.

Unlike other high-tech machines, the Smart Rower allows you to use your own device as a console, which saves you a lot of money. But if you prefer a built-in display, Echelon’s got you covered with their Row-S model.

This magnetic rower is more traditional, without any fancy computer-controlled systems or dual-resistance mechanisms. You simply choose one of the 32 resistance levels and start rowing.

And with the resistance controls conveniently located on the handle, you can adjust your intensity on-the-go without disrupting your flow.

The Smart Rower features a sturdy frame that can support users up to 300 lbs but it’s a foldable rowing machine that can be stored easily.

Echelon’s streaming app is available for on-demand workouts and stats, plus it has Spotify integration if you like to workout with some music.

It costs $30 per month but there are discounts if you buy a year or two years subscription which brings to down to the equivalent of $20 per month.

The only downside to this rower is its warranty, which is relatively short. But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option to access streaming rowing workouts, Echelon’s Smart Rower is definitely one of the best magnetic rowers on the market.

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Looking for a quality air rower without breaking the bank? Look no further than the Stamina ATS Air Rower.

While it may not be as flashy as some of the other rowers on this list, the simplicity of this machine is a huge selling point.

With air rowing, increasing resistance is as easy as pulling harder – no need to fumble with buttons mid-row.

The padded seat and smooth gliding track make for a comfortable workout experience, while the steel frame provides stability during even the most intense sessions.

The Stamina ATS comes equipped with a basic monitor that tracks all the essentials – speed, calories, time, and distance.

While the weight limit of 250 lb may not be suitable for larger users, this rower is a great option for beginners or moderate rowers looking to get a solid workout without breaking the bank.

All in all, the Stamina ATS Air Rower provides quality air rowing at a price that won’t leave you gasping for air.

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge

Are you on a budget but still want to get a quality rowing machine? Look no further than Sunny Health & Fitness!

This brand has a great reputation for offering affordable fitness equipment, and their selection of cardio machines is vast – most of which cost under $1,000.

But let me tell you about one of my personal favorites: the Obsidian Surge water rower.

This machine not only has a cool name, but it also boasts impressive specs for a water rower that costs under $500.

Unlike magnetic rowers, there are no resistance levels to fumble with. The resistance depends solely on your rowing speed, making it straightforward and easy to use.

Plus, the Obsidian Surge has a weight limit of 300 pounds, ensuring that most rowers can safely use it, and it can be conveniently stored vertically between workouts.

But that’s not all. The rower comes with a simple LCD console that can track all the basic workout metrics and has 15 built-in programs. And let’s not forget about its sleek appearance. This rower is not only functional, but it’s also a real eye-catcher.

The only downside I see is that Sunny’s warranty could be longer (3 years for the frame and 6 months for parts). However, that’s a small price to pay for such an excellent machine at an affordable price point.

In summary, if you want a great rowing machine that won’t break the bank, the Obsidian Surge by Sunny Health & Fitness is a fantastic option.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine (SF-RW5515)

Let’s talk about the top-selling rowing machine on Amazon! It’s the classic magnetic rower by Sunny Health & Fitness, the SF-RW5515.

While it’s not going to blow your mind with advanced features, this rower has garnered an impressive average rating of over 4/5 from happy customers. And with a price tag under $300, it’s excellent value.

The SF-RW5515 offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance that can be adjusted easily with a dial in the front. The small LCD display provides only the basic workout info, but that’s all you really need to keep track of your progress.

Although it has a weight limit of 250 lbs, it’s compact enough to fold away for storage when not in use. Plus, you get the same 3-year, 180-day warranty as the Obsidian Surge, another rower by SHF.

So if you’re on the hunt for an affordable and user-friendly rower to help you get moving, the SF-RW5515 might just be your new go-to. The low price means that it’s probably the best rowing machine for beginners.

Best Rowing Machine for Home – Buying Guide

Types of Rower

When it comes to choosing the perfect rower, there are four main types to consider. Each type provides resistance in a different way, so let’s take a closer look.

Magnetic Rowers

Let’s talk about magnetic rowers – these machines use magnets and a metal disc to provide resistance.

One of the biggest advantages of magnetic rowers is that they offer consistent resistance, regardless of how fast or slow you row.

Plus, magnetic rowers are super quiet, which is great for folks who want to work out without disturbing others in the house.

However, some people feel that magnetic rowers don’t offer the same realistic feel as air or water rowers. The resistance level may not be quite as intense, either, since there’s no limit to how much resistance an air rower can provide.

That said, many modern magnetic rowers use a combination of magnetic and air resistance to offer the best of both worlds.

You can enjoy the consistent resistance of the magnets while also getting an extra boost of resistance from the air when you row at higher speeds.

Overall, magnetic rowers are a great option for those looking for a quiet, consistent workout. Give one a try and see how you like it!

Water Rowers

Water rowers use a flywheel spinning through water to provide resistance, giving you the closest experience to actually rowing a boat on water.

If you’re a competitive rower or just want a realistic experience, a water rower is definitely worth considering.

The cool thing about water rowers is that the resistance is entirely based on your effort. The harder and faster you pull, the more resistance you’ll feel – it’s all physics! So, you don’t need to mess around with resistance levels, just row at the intensity you want.

The only downside is that water rowers can make a swooshing sound, so they’re not the quietest machines out there. But, some people, including myself, find the sound to be kind of soothing. It’s like you’re really out on the water!

It’s worth noting that water rowers can be a bit pricier than other types of rowers, but many people think they’re worth the investment. In fact, some water rowers are so beautiful that they could even be considered works of art. Who knew a workout machine could be so stunning?

Air Rowers

Air Rowers use a flywheel with fans to provide resistance by pulling against the air. They work a lot like water rowers but without the water.

If you’ve ever used a fan bike, you’ll understand how it works – the harder you pull, the more resistance you get.

Air rowers are a favorite among indoor rowing enthusiasts because they can offer limitless resistance, giving you the feel of rowing an actual boat on the water.

The only downside is that they tend to create a bit of noise, but if that doesn’t bother you, an air rower could be a great addition to your home gym.

And the best part? They’re usually priced pretty reasonably, so you won’t have to break the bank to get a good workout in.

Hydraulic Rowers

Hydraulic rowing machines are the affordable and space-saving option in the world of rowing machines. Instead of using fans, magnets, or water, these machines use pistons full of air or fluid to provide resistance.

There are both single and double piston models available in the market, and some of them even come with sliding seats for added comfort during your workout. Most of them also offer adjustable resistance, so you can customize your workout to your desired level.

While they may not provide the same level of realism as water or air rowers, hydraulic rowers are a great option for those on a budget or with limited space. Don’t let their smaller size fool you, these machines can still give you a great workout!

Weight Capacity

When searching for exercise equipment, I always check the weight capacity first, regardless of the type of equipment.

The weight capacity provides an objective measure of the equipment’s durability, indicating how sturdy the frame is.

Another useful spec to consider is the machine’s weight, as heavier equipment is generally more stable during use.

Machines that can support larger users must have stronger frames, or they won’t be able to withstand heavier weight.

Most quality rowing machines can support users weighing between 300 and 500 pounds, but this can vary based on the type of machine.

For compact hydraulic rowers, the weight capacity may not be as high as for full-size water rowers.

Personally, I prefer a machine with a weight capacity well above my actual weight. So, if you are 200 pounds, it’s best to get a machine that has a capacity of at least 300 pounds, rather than being right at the limit where the machine could become unstable.

Of course, this may not always be feasible, especially for hydraulic rowers, but it’s important to select a machine with a weight capacity that safely accommodates your body weight.

What features do Rowing Machines have?

The range of features included in rowing machines varies widely and generally correlates with the price of the home gym equipment.

More expensive models tend to come with more advanced features, such as large HD touchscreens with streaming workouts led by instructors. However, there are also simpler models available.

Most rowers come with a console that displays basic information like time, distance, and speed. More advanced consoles may include features like calorie tracking, power output, and preprogrammed workouts. Some consoles even let you save your stats and compete against yourself or others.

Heart rate monitors and USB ports for storing workout data are other features to consider. Some machines come with these features, while others are compatible with third-party apps.

When comparing products, it’s important to consider the usability of the display screen, including its size, location, and adjustability. Comfort is also crucial, as an uncomfortable machine is less likely to be used regularly.

How much space does a rowing machine need?

Let’s talk size, shall we? As much as we all want that full-size rower that makes us feel like we’re on the water, sometimes our workout space just won’t allow it. Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of options out there to fit any space.

Before you hit that “add to cart” button, it’s crucial to measure out your space to make sure you’re getting a rower that will actually fit. Trust me, you don’t want to be that person who has to row with half of the machine hanging off the edge of your workout area.

If you’re tight on space, consider a hydraulic rower. These compact machines are a great choice for small homes and apartments, taking up only around 4′ x 2′ of space. On the other hand, if you’ve got a larger workout area, go ahead and indulge in a full-size air, magnetic, or water rower that can take up spaces as large as 9′ x 4′.

So, no matter how big or small your workout space is, there’s a rower out there that’s perfect for you. Just remember to measure twice, row once!

How much does a rowing machine cost?

Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic- PRICE! We all know it’s a biggie, and rightfully so.

But, hold on, before we dive into the price tag, let me give you some good news- you can actually get a decent rowing machine without breaking the bank.

Yes, you heard it right!

The price range for a rowing machine can vary anywhere between $100 and $1500. And, of course, the more expensive models come with more advanced features, better quality, and a longer lifespan.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good rower within your budget. It’s all about understanding your needs and usage frequency.

For instance, the most popular rowing machine in the world costs less than $1000, and guess what, it’s used by Olympians for their training!

Alright, now that we’ve got the price talk out of the way, let’s move on to the good stuff- the best rowing machines out there.

Final Thoughts

Rowing is an excellent way to get a full-body workout and burn calories. With the rise of at-home workouts, investing in a rowing machine is a smart decision that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

We’ve explored some of the best rowing machines on the market, including the Concept2 Row Erg, the WaterRower Club Rowing Machine, and the SF-RW5515.

These machines offer a range of features and price points, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line rowing machine, the Concept2 Row Erg and the Aviron Impact Series Rower are excellent choices that offer durability, performance, and a great workout experience.

For those on a budget, the Stamina ATS Air Rower and the Sunny Health & Fitness rowers provide a quality workout without breaking the bank.

In the end, the best rowing machine is the one that fits your needs and budget. So, don’t wait any longer, pick the one that best suits you, and start rowing your way to a healthier you today!

Best Indoor Rower: Our Top Picks

Best Rowing Machine Overall: Aviron Impact Series Rower (check price)

Best Overall Runner-Up: Concept2 Row Erg (See price at Amazon)

Best Budget Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower (see price)

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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  1. Thanks so much for this guide, really helpful. I am trying to choose between a Hydrow and Aviron. What would you recommend?

    1. Thanks, glad you like it. Both of these rowers are brilliant so you can hardly go wrong. For me it comes down to what will motivate you to use a rower. If you like the sound of on the water training sessions with experts then go for the Hydrow. If you think you would like more of a gaming experience as you work out, get the Aviron (which also has more traditional training options). For me Aviron wins. It’s also quite a bit cheaper when it comes to the subscription.You can read more here – Aviron vs Hydrow [2023] In-depth Comparison Review

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