Best Rowing Machine Reviews 2018 (Top 10 Indoor Rowers For Home)

If you are looking for the Best Rowing machine, you need to spend a lot of time in doing research to find the best rowing machine on your budget, else you will lose your money on the wrong row machine. Meanwhile, the indoor rowing machines are not cheap!

How much does a Rowing machine costs? Who makes the Best Rowing Machines? There are so many Rowing Machine Brands which sells you a chunk of metal in the form of a Rowing machine which won’t even last for few months.

Buying a Rowing Machine can save you lot of time and money which you likely could have spent on supplement foods and gym fee every month. But how to choose a Rowing Machine?

If you’re choosing the wrong rowing machine, you probably gonna lose your money for junk metal. I have been using Rowing machines for a very long time now, I have gone through several brands and come up with this review of top 10 rowing machines for the benefit of newbies and fitness lovers.

10 Best Rowing Machines 2018 – Comparison

Model NameResistance
Type
Heart Strap WarrantyPrice
1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing MachineAirNo2 Years
2. WaterRower Natural Rowing MachineWaterNo5 Years
3. Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine/a>AirNo2 Years
4. Stamina Avari Magnetic Exercise RowerMagneticYes3 Years
5. Velocity Exercise Magnetic RowerMagneticYes5 Years
6. Stamina ATS Air RowerAirNo3 Years
7. Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Rowing MachineMagneticNo1 Year
8. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050HydraulicNo1 Year
9. Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing MachineHydraulicNo5 Years
10. Sunny Health SF-RW1205 Rowing MachineHydraulicNo1 Year

Best Rowing Machine Reviews 2018

Let me take you through the Top Rowing machines reviews 2018.

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

best rowing machine

Concept2 Model D is the best indoor rowing machine which is designed to deliver safe and natural work out. This rowing machine exceeded my expectations and this item rides like a Cadillac!

Settling on the Concept 2 Model D was easy.  This machine is extraordinarily solid! We don’t face any rumble, it is smooth and quiet. Definitely, a must in-home exercise equipment for every home.

Concept2 Model D is durable and has a solid construction which can last for many years upon regular use. Concept2 Model D is an air resistant rowing machine which provides a smooth resistance and air resistant rowers are being preferred by many athletes.

Olympic Rowing teams use Concept2 Model D and E for their indoor training, the reason being the accuracy of rowing data and capability to provide the real water rowing experience. You can experience a natural and even resistance throughout your work out.

Damper settings is a notable feature I would say when you keep the settings to the highest which is 10, you’ll feel like rowing a heavy boat, lowest is 1, higher the damper settings heavier you’ll feel to row.

The PM5 Performance monitor provides you with accurate real-time data on each and every row. The whole rowing machine can be separated in to two pieces for easy storage. This rowing machine provides good resistance for an intense cardio and toning workout.

Specifications
  • Overall Length: 96 in (244 cm)
  • Chain: Nickel-plated steel chain
  • Maximum User Weight: 500 lb (227 kg)
  • Monorail Length: 54 in (137 cm), fits inseams up to 38″
  • Seat height:14 in (36 cm)
  • Space Requirements (in use): Assembled: 8 ft x 2 ft (244 cm x 61 cm)
  • Width: 24 in (61 cm)
  • 2 Years Limited warranty
Pros
  • Commercial grade construction
  • Intense Rowing power
  • Accurate Performance monitor
  • Damper settings
  • Low Noise
  • Easy Installation
  • 5 years Warranty
Cons
  • Space consuming
  • Fan makes much noise when you row too hard.

The Best Indoor Rowing machine for personal and commercial use. Even though the price is high, it’s lesser than many gym’s annual membership fees. Since the longevity of this rowing machine is at air resistant rowing machine, its a good value for money!

2. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

rowing machine reviews

Water Rower Rowing machines are familiar among a wide range of users and are preferred as the best rowing machine which can give you a Rowing experience from light to intense based on your training goals.

Water Rower in Ash wood literally mimics the real Row boat, made of hand crafted ash wood. The honey oat stain and danish oil finish a fantastic home decor look, the wood construction absorbs the noise and vibration better, the sound of wood and water makes you feel like a real rower (Remember you’re sitting indoor).

Aesthetically inspiring wood construction gives Water Rower Rowing machine a longer life than other metal made Rowing machines.

Water resistance allows you to change the intensity by increasing or decreasing water level, higher the water level, more intense the rowing will become.

This wood rower machine has Series 4 performance monitor with six quick select buttons and three navigation buttons. It displays work out intensity, Stroke rate, Heart rate, zone bar, duration, and distance.

Chest rate strap and receiver is not included, to be bought separately if you want more engaging Rowing experience. The whole design allows you to optimize your workout, keeps attracting you to work out daily.

Overall, it is one of the best rowing machines with the water resistance to provide natural rowing effect. Really an aesthetic motivator.

Specifications
  • Height: 20’’
  • Width: 22.25’’
  • Length: 82.25’’
  • 15’’ Ergonomic Handle
  • Dual Rail Design
  • Ergonomic Saddle
  • Maximum User Weight: 350kg
Pros
  • Aesthetic design and look
  • American Ash wood frame
  • Water Resistance
  • Multi-static monitor
  • Long lasting quality construction
  • Dual rail design
  • LCD S4 Performance Monitor
Cons
  • High priced item.
  • Chest rate strap and receiver could’ve been included in this price
  • Space consuming

Apart from the price, every feature of this Water rower is attractive, many users will prefer an aesthetic design instead of a regular one which costs almost the same for the included features. Ideal for people looking for a more engaging Rowing machine.

3. Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

best home rowing machine

Concept2 E is an Indoor rowing machine which is a sequel variant of Concept2 D. Both variants has features and quality of a High end rowing machine. Model E is an improved version with slight changes in the design.

This is one of the best rowing machines with air resistance. It provides good low-impact and good cardio workout.

Concept2 E offers a seat 20” high from the ground, higher frame allows you to get on and off easier. The nickel-plated chain makes it suitable for heavy-duty usage and requires less maintenance.

Concept2 E is an Air resistance based Rowing machine. As I told you, the Concept2 D and E are being used by Olympic teams for Indoor training.

While burning calories with this Air Rower you can see the real-time stats for each row, the performance monitor has been placed on the fixed arm, the view is very convenient to watch live stats, the performance monitor is also compatible with wireless heart rate straps, and Heart rate straps are not included in the kit.

The spiral Damper feature can be used to control the resistance by adjusting the airflow to the flywheel, so you’re always the boss of the Air Resistance and can control the amount of resistance you need time to time.

The one feet model gives you all the more stability while rowing and gives a solid grip for a smooth rowing.

Specifications
  • Overall Length: 96 in (244 cm)
  • Width: 24 in (61 cm)
  • Seat Height: 20 in (51 cm)
  • Monorail Length: 54 in (137 cm), fits inseams up to 38″
  • Chain: Nickel-plated steel chain
  • Maximum User Weight: 500 lb (227 kg)
  • Space Requirements (in use): Assembled 8 ft x 2 ft (244 cm x 61 cm)
Pros
  • 20” Seat Height
  • Fixed Arm performance monitor for a better view
  • one foot stand design
  • Damper feature
Cons
  • Higher price range
  • Wireless heart rate strip could’ve been included for more value to money

Over all Concept2 E is made to deliver a better rowing experience with live data and comparable stats for motivation, when you see your ability on a real-time data monitor you start scaling it up more. The best indoor air resistance rowing machine for fitness lovers, provided if you can ignore the price range.

4. Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

best rowing machine for home

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower offers you a unique feature which you won’t get from an air rower vs Water rower vs magnetic rower.

The best magnetic rower will be quiet while rowing! Stamina Avari is no different, quiet means you don’t need an ear phone to avoid the sound, a pleasant Rowing machine for an enjoyable Rowing.

Resistance can be adjusted just by clicking the appropriate option on the display monitor, once you set a resistance level, you feel the same resistance either you row fast or slow. An Air Rower and a Water Rower are totally different from a Magnetic Rower.

The In touch Fitness monitor shows you the time elapsed, a number of strokes done, distance, calories burned, strokes per minute and also pulse rate.

The stats may not be as accurate as an air rower or water rower, but still, Stamina Avari is able to make a pleasant impact on your rowing experience with its quietness and compactness.

  • Program 1: Manual Program- the user has full control over manually changing resistance levels.
  • Program 2-7: Preset Programs- automatic resistance changing programs featuring Rolling, Valley, Fat Burn, Ramp, Mountain, and Intervals.
  • Program 8: Target Heart Rate Control Program- select the desired heart rate and the rower will automatically adjust the resistance to keep your heart rate at this level. Users must use the heart rate monitor for this program.
  • Program 9-12: Custom User Programs- users can create their own workout routine and save it to the machine.
Specifications
  • Total Length – 81 Inches
  • Width – 20 Inches(
  • Height 24.5 Inches
  • Total User weight – 275lbs
  • Rowing Beam: Aluminum
  • Frame: Steel
  • Fold-able frame
Pros
  • Quiet Rowing Machine
  • Chest strap included
  • Preset programs allow a user to engage more
  • Fixed Resistance settings
Cons
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty use
  • No accurate stat as in Air rower or water rower

This Compact Rowing machine may not be suitable for commercial use, but definitely can fulfill the individual user’s requirements. Heart Rate strap is included in the kit, A great rowing machine in mid-price range.

5. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

top rated rowing machine

The Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower looks smaller than Concept2 D and E models, built with heavy gauge aluminum, it is a lightweight Indoor Rower but strong enough for several years usage.

It uses magnetic resistance for a smooth and quiet rowing. The large molded foam seat helps better seating, non – slip foot rest allows you to hold on to your position comfortably while rowing.

A Magnetic resistant rower normally doesn’t offer you with accurate stats, but comparably Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower offers you with better stats than its rivals.

It comes with a heart rate monitor, you can set your target heart rate before start Rowing, based on the heart rate settings it automatically adjust the resistance level and help you maintain the desired heart rate throughout the whole time of your work out.

There are preset programs which you can choose to achieve your desired level of workout, these programs allow you to set a target on a number of stroke or amount of calories and much more.

Setting up the Indoor magnetic rower is very simple and easy, can complete the setup within 20mins max even for a newbie.

Specifications
  • Resistance Type – Magnetic
  • Dimensions: 82”x22”x26”
  • Max User weight: 275lbs
  • LCD performance monitor
  • Aluminum Frame
  • Warranty: Frame – 5Yrs, Display – 3Months, Parts – 1Month
Pros
  • Need-based preset programs
  • Included Heart rate monitor and chest strap
  • Fold-able frame
  • Smooth and quiet action
Cons
  • Warranty on parts and display is too short
  • Bad packaging, could see a lot of users complain about transit damages.

One of the best indoor exercise machine which has user-oriented preset programs. The cost is somewhat mid-range, but the quality what you get is satisfactory. Suitable for people who are looking for home use rowing machine which is quiet and smooth.

6. Stamina ATS Air Rower

best indoor rowing machine

Stamina ATS Air Rower is not a high end rowing machine. Don’t expect more from ATS Air Rower. The looks and design are not so stylish, but it’s a silent winner among low price rowing machines.

It is constructed of steel for longer life and heavy usage. The padded upholstered seat on an oversized rail offers you a smooth rowing experience.

Large foot rest helps you continue with your work out without any slips in between. The frame can be folded after working out to save more space for storing.

This Wind resistant rowing machine comes with a single button multi-function performance monitor, the monitor displays Speed, Distance, Time and calories burned, comparable data is not featured.

Resistance levels cannot be altered, the only way to feel high or low resistance is to adjust how fast you row. Slower you row lesser the resistance, row fast and the resistance go on building up, So you’re the ultimate decision maker, increase your capability to the maximum with this air resistance rowing machine.

Specifications
  • Dimensions: 77”x18.75”x22”
  • Resistance Type: Dynamic Air Resistance
  • Frame: Steel
  • Pivoting Foot Plates
  • Steel Rowing Beam
  • Max User Weight: 250lbs
Pros
  • Cost is lesser compared to other Air Resistance Rowing Machines
  • Heavy Gauge Steel construction
  • Less complicated user controls
  • Fold-able design
Cons
  • Cannot adjust the resistance level
  • The very basic performance monitor for this price range.

This is not a High end rowing machine with more advanced features, this is a simple and effective Air resistance rowing machine. The stats will be more accurate comparing to a magnetic resistance rowing machine. Ideal for people who are looking for a reliable Air resistance rowing machine at cheap price.

7. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower 

at home rowing machine

SF-RW5515 from Sunny Health & Fitness works with Magnetic Resistance. The Outlook is better than low to mid-priced Rowing machines.

When we talk about a Magnetic Rower, always keep in mind that it is totally different from Air and water resistance Rowing machines. Resistance levels can be adjusted with this model, the total of 8 levels can be set depending on your desire.

Resistance level remains the same till you change it, which allows you to row for shorter time with high resistance or for a longer time with low resistance, if you have a lot of time to allocate for your exercise, you can just set less intense level, just put on your favorite music on and row on till you’re satisfied.

The LCD console displays time, count, calories burnt, total count and scan. Seats and foot pads are better for this price range, setting up this Magnetic resistance rowing machine is pretty simple, and takes less time than other similar models.

The frame can be folded for storage so that it occupies less space. The build quality definitely fits the bill, no doubt about it.

Specifications
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • 8-Levels Resistance
  • Digital Performance monitor
  • Assemble Dims: 82L x 19W x 23H in
  • Maximum user weight: 250 Lbs
  • Fold-able Frame
  • Warranty: 3 Months Frame and Parts
Pros
  • Adjustable 8-Level resistance
  • Quiet and smooth rowing action
  • Quality construction for longer life
  • Better Seating and foot rest
Cons
  • Cannot withstand heavy use, not suitable for heavy weight persons
  • Warranty period is way too short.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD Monitor does a better job in terms of performance, quality and cost. But Warranty period for frame and parts are the real deal breaker. When you buy an Indoor exercise machine, the least expectation will be a warranty. Apart from this it has reasonable features for the money paid.

8. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

best rowing machines for homeStamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine is a compact Rowing machine which works on hydraulic resistance from a single piston.

This is not a Rowing machine with all those motivating features of other Air, Water or Magnetic resistance Rowing machines. The built is strong, sturdy and long-lasting. For the price, this is one of the cheapest rowing machines on the market!

Heavy gauge steel frame and aluminum Rowing beam offer the much-needed strength for it to last for several years, but Gas shock resistant pistons normally lose its resistance upon heavy usage.

The seats are not so comfortable for longer work out time, and the foot strap doesn’t hold well, many users found it difficult to keep the legs strapped while rowing fast.

The performance monitor has no preset programs or comparable data points to track your improvements, it displays time, stroke count and calories burned.

What more do you think you expect from a Budget Rowing Machine? It is Compact not only on the size, and also in terms of storage, it can be folded nice and easy and consumes less space.

Specifications
  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic Resistance
  • Rowing Bar: Aluminum
  • Frame: Steel
  • Dimensions: 58.25”x42.25”x18.125”
  • Max User Weight: 250lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year for frame, 90 days for parts
Pros
  • Quality Construction
  • Affordable price
  • Compact design
  • Less noise
  • Adjustable hydraulic resistance
  • Multifunction fitness monitor
Cons
  • Pistons loses resistance upon heavy use
  • Not suitable for everyday use
  • No Comparable Stats

This Hydraulic rowing machine is suitable for people who are looking for a cheaper option to just keep the shape in control. If you’re serious about getting fit and planning to use on a daily basis, better look for other options.

9. Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

best budget rowing machineThe Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine is smaller than Trac glider, very compact and can mimic Row boat experience.

This is an adjustable Hydraulic Rowing machine at the low price range. It has two pistons which work with gas-shock resistance, the seat is a padded one, not slippery, and this rowing machine comes really handy for people who have space concerns.

Because of its compact size and fold-able design, it is easy to store, but also it has few setbacks, gas-shock pistons tend to lose resistance over a period, you may have to first be clear on how often and for how much time you’re gonna use this day to day.

The performance monitor is a simple one-button digital display, it shows you the time, stroke count, distance, and calories burned.

Doesn’t have comparable data, the stats which you get from this Piston Rowing machine is not exact in terms of comparison with air and water resistance rowing machines, but still with a strong construction and compact design this budget rowing machine can offer you a fitness solution with few restrictions.

Incline control allows you to adjust the tilt of the orbital’s seat rail, you can increase the resistance to your desired level.

This is the best Budget Rowing machine with a lot of good features, but the money paid vs the features is fair in my view.

Specifications
  • Resistance Type: Hydraulic
  • Frame: Steel
  • Free motion bar: Steel
  • Dimensions: 48”x32.5”x27.75”
  • Max User Weight: 250lbs
  • Warranty: 5 Years for the frame, 90 days for the parts
Pros
  • The cheap Exercise machine for Rowing
  • Non-slippery Grip foot pad with straps
  • Strong and heavy gauge steel construction
  • 5Year Warranty on frame
Cons
  • Size is not suitable for tall persons
  • Hydraulic pistons are not optimal for a heavy or prolonged workout

If you’re looking just for an exercise machine to keep yourself in shape then this will suit your need as well as budget, but if you want a Rowing machine for regular and heavy use you should be looking for other choices.

10. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 12 Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine Rower 

best affordable rowing machineSF-RW1205 is an Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine works with hydraulic resistance by a gas-shock single piston. This rowing machine is one of the cheapest rowing machine in the market.

The Piston rowing machines are normally cheap and effective, but at the same time, you should know that it is not for a heavy user. SF-RW1205 upon using for few mornings, you’ll start loving it, it can help you get fit, the design is very simple and looks nice.

The resistance levels can be adjusted as per your desire, 12 levels of resistance can be set depends on the need. The padded cushion seat is comfortable paired with the padded Handle bars and strap-on foot pedals.

The digital performance monitor displays time, count, total count, calories burned and scan. It has one button to shuttle between the stats.

This Piston Rowing machine with strong construction and simple design provides an efficient, effective, low-impact workout that utilizes all the major muscle groups, including the back, legs, arms, abdominal and buttocks.

In my view, this is the best low-cost rowing machine available across the market. The size of this Rowing machine is small, compact design takes least storage space. Assembling the unit takes less than 10mins.

Specifications
  • Resistance type: Hydraulic
  • Frame: Steel
  • Handle Bar: Steel
  • Single piston
  • Dimensions: 53”x20”x22”
  • Max User weight: 220lbs
  • Warranty: 1 Year for the frame, 90 days for parts
Pros
  • Cheapest Rowing machine
  • Padded Handle bar, cushion seat and pivot foot pedals
  • Strong and sturdy construction
  • Space saving compact design
Cons
  • Doesn’t provide the intensity of an air or water resistance rowing machine
  • Not suitable for persons taller than 6ft

As we already discussed, this is the cheapest rowing machine, a low-cost rowing machine with the ideal design for an effective rowing is hard to find. Anyhow, if you’re looking for a heavy use rowing machine, this is not for you. This is the best rowing machine in terms of cost and durability.

Best Rowing Machine for Home – Buying Guide

Rowing Machines, also known as erg machines (ergometer rowing machines) are good fitness equipment for the low-impact full body workouts.  You can burn more calories in the rowing and it tones the body muscles.

There are several benefits you can get via rower exercise like a low-impact cardio workout, weight loss, Full body workout, effective aerobic exercise, etc.

A good rowing machine must utilize all the major muscle groups, including the back, buttocks, arms, legs, and abdominal. As a result, you can efficiently burn calories and fat without impacting your joints.

Do Research Before Buying!

Are you here after researching which exercise is better and found Rowing machine to be convenient for burning calories?

Let me first give you a glance on why a Rowing Machine is gonna be very helpful to you. You would have seen people going to gym, lifting heavy weight dumb bells, doing different exercise for each and every part of the body to make it strong and healthy.

Comparing to Rowing machine, joining a gym requires time and money to be spent on a regular basis. What if I tell you that a Rowing machine can work out your whole body?

A Rower uses all his body parts while Rowing, not only legs and hands, also feet, back, hip, chest, neck, abs, and butts. Indoor rowing machine works out is no different than Water rowing.

The first thing that hit your mind while thinking about a gym is waking up early, Myself I prefer sleeping until the time “it’s been time or I’ll be late”. Not all evenings you can schedule your gym plans.

A Rowing machine is no different from a Row boat, except its an Indoor rowing machine and it can be used at home in the morning for just 20minutes, upon regular Rowing you’ll obviously start feeling more strong and you can sense your increasing stamina.

Exercising can tone your body and keep you fit, but using wrong instruments can leave you in bed rest for few days till few weeks depending on the injury.

Types of Rowing Machines

Rowing machines offer you the rowing effect of the resistance produced using Air, Water, Magnet, and Hydraulic.

Air Resistance Rowing machines

The Air Resistance Rowing machines can produce enough of resistance for an intense workout, the stats which is generated usually accurate, there are quiet a few numbers of Air Rowing machines which offer you comparable data to track and improve your stamina and ability.

Air resistance level can be adjusted only by slowing or speeding up your rows, there are no other means to adjust the intensity. Air resistance rowing machines tend to be noisy which you should consider before choosing an Indoor rowing machine. Fan row machines are not cheap.

Water Resistance Rowing machines

The Water Resistance Rowing machines generated the resistance with the water barrel, similar to an Air resistance rowing machine, Water resistance rowing machines also provides you with comparable data and stats accurately.

Resistance to these type of rowing machines can be adjusted with the speed of rowing and also increase or decrease the water level, more the water higher the resistance. Water resistance rowing machines are noisy, but comparably water rowers less noisy than Air rowers.

Magnetic resistance rowing machines

The Magnetic resistance rowing machines are far more convenient to use, it is more versatile than other types, fitness freaks will love these type of rowing machines, it tends to be quiet and effective, the work out intensity or resistance can be adjusted as per the user’s desire.

But unlike Air or water resistance rowing machines, magnetic rowers are not capable of producing accurate data, if you want to practice indoor for a row boat sport, you should not be buying a magnetic rower.

Hydraulic resistance rowing machines

The Hydraulic resistance rowing machines are the traditional models which were used in the commercial and home gyms, but given to the advanced stats and features of Air, water and magnetic resistance rowing machines these hydraulic rowers are less effective in terms of resistance if you’re gonna use it for a prolonged workout or a heavy workout.

Because Hydraulic rowers work with a single piston or dual pistons to produce the required resistance. Piston rowers tend to get less effective over a period. These types are suitable for people who are just looking for an exercise machine, not for heavy work outs.

How to Choose the Best Rowing Machine?

There are a lot of Rowing machine brands available in the market such as Foldable rowing machines can save you lot of storage space. Indoor rowing machines are available in various budgets on the market, starting from 100 dollars to 3000 dollars.

Professional rowing machines normally won’t have that features, as it is meant to be used in large areas.

A compact rower machine may not have intensity, an inexpensive rowing machine may have the desired intensity but may not be suitable for your physic.

So before buying a Rower machine consider your physic, requirements, budget, and convenience. The best affordable and top-rated rowing machines may not have attractive designs, if you want a better feature, you have to compromise on the outlook of the indoor rower.

Hope you found this Best rated rowing machines review helpful. All the best!

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