• 10 Best Home Gym Rowing Machines in 2022 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Home Gym Rowing Machines in 2022 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Home Gym Rowing Machines in 2022 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best Home Gym Rowing Machines in 2022 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best Home Gym Rowing Machines in 2022 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed) 5

10 Best Home Gym Rowing Machines in 2022 (Personal Trainer-Reviewed)

Looking for a different kind of workout instead of the same old treadmill, bike, and elliptical routines? Rowing machines are versatile and can be used for cardio, toning, and strength training. They may not be as popular as other equipment, but they're perfect for total body workouts without putting stress on your knees and joints! 


But there's a lot out there to choose from, right? After all, workout equipment comes with a pretty high price tag. That's why we wrote a buying guide to help you find the perfect rowing machine for your home gym. Concept2's Model D rowing machine took our top prize for its ease of assembly, low noise level, and user-friendliness. See the rest of our favorites in our top 10 list!

Featured in this article

Esther Leonardo
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-23-2022
Table of Contents

Why Should I Get a Rowing Machine?

Why Should I Get a Rowing Machine?

You may have clicked on this article wondering if you even need a rowing machine. Our expert Esther Leonardo argues that, yes, they would be a great addition to your home workout routine! She says,


"Rowing machines are great for a multitude of reasons including posture improvement, workout versatility, and improved fitness. They're excellent for people looking for a machine that provides a great cardio and full-body strength workout.


Unlike exercises such as running, rowing is easier on your joints, which is great for those looking for something with less impact. You also use your entire body, unlike other exercise machines like spin bikes. Depending on the rowing machine, you can also easily move and store them, and they can be fairly lightweight."

How to Choose a Home Gym Rowing Machine - Buying Guide

Choosing the right rowing machine is easy if you keep our tips in mind. Keep reading this article and you'll find all the necessary information you need to know!

Choose Between Types of Rowing Machine

There are four main types of home gym rowing machine: air, water, hydraulic, and magnetic.

Air Rowing Machines Suit Beginners

Air rowing machines use, well, air to create resistance. They are the most common type that you see in fitness centers. If you have little experience with rowing machines, you may want to consider air rowing machines. 


Although they can be noisy, you can row at your own comfortable pace. This is because the tension levels are automatically adjusted according to how hard you row. The faster you pull, the greater the resistance level. 

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Air rowers are the most common you will see in used by rowing teams and in gyms, particularly the Concept 2 Model D rower. As far as resistance goes, this one is the easiest to manage. 


Air rowers are smooth and require little maintenance. You'll get a great workout, and these machines tend to be light and easy to maneuver for those who are tight on space.

Water Machines Have a Stylish Design and are Extremely Quiet

Water rowing machines have a water tank in front of the machine and the resistance levels are generated by water. They have the most elegant designs and usually made with either wooden or steel frames. Plus, they're also smooth and very quiet. 


Like an air rowing machine, the tension levels are adjusted by your pace. They’re quite expensive compared with other types, but they provide the most efficient and realistic experience

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Water rowers are great for those looking for a real-life feel while rowing. These are better for those who go out on the water with a team or in their own boats. While they can be quieter than air rowers, they do still have some noise. 


Something to keep in mind is that these machines are heavier and, once placed, cannot be moved unless you drain the water from it. Be sure to keep these away from heavy objects that could fall on your water chamber and crack it. I would also not recommend having one on carpet or wood floors.

Hydraulic Ones are Compact and Affordable

Hydraulic are the cheapest and the most compact design among all types of rowing machines. They use air or fluid for resistance and can be adjustable. 


Unlike others that have one handlebar in front, hydraulic are equipped with two oars on both sides of the body. So, they’re great machines for an upper body workout. However, you may find some models that come with one handlebar, too!

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Hydraulic rowers are great for people who are looking for something inexpensive, easy to move, and compact. This is a good machine to get yourself started on rowing if you aren't sure whether you will like rowing or not, but keep in mind that they do not move as smoothly as other types.


However, I would not recommend a hydraulic rower for those who are into heavier workouts. These machines are meant for a workout you do in front of the TV during your favorite show, not the one where you go through a full cross training circuit.

Magnetic Offers Smooth Rowing and Durability

Another popular type of rowing machine that you can see everywhere, these are generally quiet, provide a smooth rowing motion, and are very durable. 


Magnetic rowing machines use a braking system to generate the level of resistance. Some models offer manual resistance while others offer automatic resistance. 


Some machines require electricity, which isn’t convenient for everyone; but it’s a good option for someone who has a low budget since they’re known as one of the most affordable models in the market. 

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Magnetic rowers are great for those who are looking for something with the style and feel of an air rower but without the noise. Also, like air rowers, these machines provide a smooth rowing feel. 


Some of them are fairly easy to take apart and move around the room to store. Magnetic rowers are great for a wide range of people. The only downside is that it doesn't provide the "real feel" of rowing through the water.

Consider Useful Designs and Features

Some of the basic features for rowing machines are things such as an LCD monitor that shows your workout stats, including time, distance, calories, strokes, and rpm, to help you track your workout progress.


Other bonus features are a foldable design, transportation wheels, a water bottle holder, heart rate monitor chest straps, preset-programmed workouts, an HD touch screen display, interactive training, and applications that can connect to your phone.

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Some of the things I look for when shopping for a rower are moveability and funtionality of my display screen. I like rowers that have wheels on the back, making them easy to move around, and ones that have the ability to be taken apart for transport or stored upright so I can open a space up. 


Display screens will mostly tell you data about your stroke speed, split time, and distance, but I look for a machine that has the ability to let me build in a workout with sets and distance so I don't have to keep track.

Take Your Available Space into Account

Take Your Available Space into Account

Rowing machines are pretty bulky, so it’s important to make sure that you have enough space for the machines. The average size of a machine is 2 feet wide and 8 feet long


If you have a small space, we suggest you look for one with a folding design that doesn't take up as much space and is easy to move around.


Besides the machine itself, we suggest you not put the machine too close to the wall and spare a little space at the back for your arms and elbows when rowing.  

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Space is important when considering a rowing machine. Water rowers stay where you place them, so make sure you have room to maneuver around them. 


Depending on your air or magnetic rower, you may also need to find a single place for it, but some can be stored vertically to allow for more room. Hydraulic rowers are the easiest to move and take up the least amount of space.

Check the Weight Capacity of the Machine

Check the Weight Capacity of the Machine

In general, rowing machines can be used by most people. The average weight capacity for the cheap models are 250 pounds and 300 pounds for average-priced models. However, there are some models that can hold up to 600 pounds! 

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Like any piece of equipment you purchase, you want to check your weight capacity. Ensure that you can use it safely and without worry before bringing it home. While these machines tend to be durable, rowers function with a sliding seat and need to have that maneuverability to be effective.

Make Sure It’s Safe and Easy to Use

It'll waste your time and money if you buy a machine that matches all your needs but you can't use in reality. Thus, we recommend you pay attention to safety and convenience concerns, too!

Consider Comfort and Adjustability

Consider Comfort and Adjustability

The pedals and handlebar should be made with a non-slip material. It would be great if you can get pedals with adjustable straps to fit your feet.


We also suggest you look for a machine with a wide cushioned saddle to support your back and bottom. When you feel comfortable with the saddle and you sit in the right form, it can prevent injuries as well as improve your workout performance.

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

The most comfortable machines to use are usually going to be your water, air, and magnetic rowers. They row more smoothly and don't feel as cramped as hydraulic rowers. 


Another thing to consider is the seat each machine comes with. Some are hard plastic, and some have padding. However, you can look into purchasing a seat cover with extra padding. Another trick I used when I first started rowing was wearing padded bike shorts or a padded bike short layer under my leggings.

Pay Attention to Noise Level

Pay Attention to Noise Level

If you live in an apartment, you may want to take this concern more seriously than someone who lives in a house. We suggest you choose a quiet rowing machine like a water, magnetic, or hydraulic one. Try to avoid air rowing machines since they tend to be the noisiest type of all.

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

Noise tends to be a factor for people looking to purchase a rower, but here are some additional things to keep in mind. Earbuds will usually cancel out the noise of any machine you purchase. 


If you plan on playing your music over a speaker, you will need to increase the volume over something like an air rower, which may not be the best for those sharing a thin wall with neighbors.

Buy One That Comes With a Warranty

Buy One That Comes With a Warranty

The warranty is another important thing and we suggest you get a machine that comes with one. It'll be ideal if you can get a lifetime warranty, but a lot of machines offer a few years' warranty. 


However, we suggest you carefully check the terms and conditions to make sure that it covers all the parts and frame, not just some parts like handlebars or digital display only.

Esther Leonardo
Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics Professional
Esther Leonardo

For any piece of equipment that your are investing in, making sure that it comes with a warranty is something to look for. Most equipment will function well for years when treated well, but there are the rare occassions where you may have a chain or strap break, or something jams your wheel.

10 Best Home Gym Rowing Machines

These machines are different in the type of resistance, feature, and size. Make sure to carefully compare them before making a decision. 


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Esther Leonardo.

Image
1
Concept2  Model D 1

Concept2

2
Merax Water Rowing Machine 1

Merax

3
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower 1

Fitness Reality

4
MaxKare Water Rowing Machine 1

MaxKare

5
Sunny Health and Fitness Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine 1

Sunny Health and Fitness

6
MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine 1

MaxKare

7
Mr Rudolf Water Rowing Machines 1

Mr Rudolf

8
Joroto Magnetic Rower 1

Joroto

9
Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine 1

Lanos

10
MaxKare Air Rowing Machine 1

MaxKare

Name

Model D

Water Rowing Machine

1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

Water Rowing Machine

Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

Magnetic Rowing Machine

Water Rowing Machines

Magnetic Rower

Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Air Rowing Machine

Features

An Olympic Machine That Will Last a Lifetime!

Boost Your Motivation and Have More Fun With Racing Mode

A Versatile Rowing Machine With Extra Large Foam Handlebar

A Large Adjustable Display Stand With a Heart Rate Monitor

A Basic, Affordable Machine With a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

A Very Quiet Machine With an Extra-Long Slide Rail

A Wooden Frame to Give You a Real Rowing Experience

10 Levels of Resistance With Double Sensors for Accurate Data

A Compact Manual Resistance Rowing Machine

Heavy Tension With iPad Holder to Keep You Entertained

Price$1,266.94$639.99$245.99$379.99$84.99$239.94$619.00$349.99$159.99$289.99
TypeAirWaterMagneticWaterHydraulicMagneticWaterMagneticHydraulicAir
Warranty2-year limited warranty1-year limited warranty1-year limited warranty2-year limited warranty3-year frame, 180-day parts and components1-year warranty1-year warranty1-year limited warrantyN/A1-year limited warranty
Bonus featuresFoldable, backlit LCD display, PM5, Bluetooth, fitness apps, adjustable pedal straps, racing gamesFoldable, heart rate monitor, race program, transportation wheelsBluetooth, MyCloud fitness app, transportation wheels, device holderFoldable, heart rate monitor, adjustable LCD monitor and pedal straps, bottle holder, transportation wheelsDigital monitor, adjustable pedal strapsFoldable, transportation wheels, storage boxFoldable, backlit LCD display, bluetooth, machine cover, device holderFoldable, cup holder, device holder, transportation wheelsFoldable, adjustable pedal strapsFoldable, adjustable pedal straps, iPad holder
Dimensions8 x 2 ft. (assembled), 25 x 33 x 54 in. (storage)78 x 20 x 25.5 in.88.5 x 21.5 x 21.5 in.78 x 17.3 x 35.4 in.54 x 20 x 23 in.76.4 x 19.7 x 19 in.82 x 22 x 20 in.71 x 21 x 36 in. 50 x 36.2 x 49 in.71.3 x 20.1 x 14.2 in.
Link
1

Concept2 Model D

$1,266.94

TypeAir
Warranty2-year limited warranty
Bonus featuresFoldable, backlit LCD display, PM5, Bluetooth, fitness apps, adjustable pedal straps, racing games
Dimensions8 x 2 ft. (assembled), 25 x 33 x 54 in. (storage)
2

MeraxWater Rowing Machine

$639.99

TypeWater
Warranty1-year limited warranty
Bonus featuresFoldable, heart rate monitor, race program, transportation wheels
Dimensions78 x 20 x 25.5 in.
3

Fitness Reality1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

2636

$245.99

TypeMagnetic
Warranty1-year limited warranty
Bonus featuresBluetooth, MyCloud fitness app, transportation wheels, device holder
Dimensions88.5 x 21.5 x 21.5 in.
4

MaxKareWater Rowing Machine

$379.99

TypeWater
Warranty2-year limited warranty
Bonus featuresFoldable, heart rate monitor, adjustable LCD monitor and pedal straps, bottle holder, transportation wheels
Dimensions78 x 17.3 x 35.4 in.
5

Sunny Health and FitnessAdjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

SF-RW1205

$84.99

TypeHydraulic
Warranty3-year frame, 180-day parts and components
Bonus featuresDigital monitor, adjustable pedal straps
Dimensions54 x 20 x 23 in.
6

MaxKareMagnetic Rowing Machine

$239.94

TypeMagnetic
Warranty1-year warranty
Bonus featuresFoldable, transportation wheels, storage box
Dimensions76.4 x 19.7 x 19 in.
7

Mr RudolfWater Rowing Machines

$619.00

TypeWater
Warranty1-year warranty
Bonus featuresFoldable, backlit LCD display, bluetooth, machine cover, device holder
Dimensions82 x 22 x 20 in.
8

JorotoMagnetic Rower

MR35

$349.99

TypeMagnetic
Warranty1-year limited warranty
Bonus featuresFoldable, cup holder, device holder, transportation wheels
Dimensions71 x 21 x 36 in.
9

LanosHydraulic Rowing Machine

$159.99

TypeHydraulic
WarrantyN/A
Bonus featuresFoldable, adjustable pedal straps
Dimensions50 x 36.2 x 49 in.
10

MaxKareAir Rowing Machine

$289.99

TypeAir
Warranty1-year limited warranty
Bonus featuresFoldable, adjustable pedal straps, iPad holder
Dimensions71.3 x 20.1 x 14.2 in.

How to Use Your Rowing Machine Safely

How to Use Your Rowing Machine Safely

Esther says, "If you are looking to purchase a rowing machine for your personal use at home, be sure to watch and learn proper rowing technique. One of the most common injuries you will see are back injuries. Rowers are meant to be moved by using legs first, body second, and arms third. 


Proper posture is the key to optimizing your workout as long as you are aware of it and maintain good form. Be sure to speak with a health and fitness profressional, or at the very least, watch professional tutorials online to ensure that you are using your equipment properly and keeping yourself safe.


Once you've gotten used to your rower, feel free to look up some creative ways to use the sliding seat for some advanced full-body exercises such as pikes and ab rollouts."

Looking for More Home Gym Machines?

Unlike training at gyms, training at home makes you feel relaxed and is more convenient because you can do it at your own pace and at any time you want. Check out our suggestions for machines that you can add to your home gym.

Author: Apinya Masuda


  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more mybest recommendations! For questions or comments, leave us feedback via a Google Form on our Contact Us page.

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    If you're looking to get out on the water this summer, there's nothing more versatile and portable than an inflatable stand-up paddle board. Take them surfing in the ocean waves, on an all-day lake expedition, or even use them for yoga or fishing. With just a little effort to inflate them, you can be on the water in no time. And when you're done for the day, they pack down into a compact size that's easy to carry or stash in your trunk.For a high-quality all-around board that's excellent for both beginners and experienced paddlers, we recommend Atoll's 11 Foot Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board. It has everything you need for your next water adventure, including a paddle, pump, coiled leash, and bungee tie-downs for your gear. If you want to learn more about inflatable paddle boards before you buy, check out our buying guide. Otherwise, see the rest of our top 10 picks so you can get outside ASAP!
    Sports and fitness
  • 10 Best Rollerblades for Men in 2022 (Roller Derby, Pacer, and More)
    10 Best Rollerblades for Men in 2022 (Roller Derby, Pacer, and More)
    People like to use bikes and scooters for exercise and transportation, but what about rollerblades? If you purchase some rollerblades, you can enjoy different sports, spend some time outside, and have tons of fun. However, finding a solid pair of rollerblades can be difficult, so we made a top 10 list to show you our favorite options.We took note of the Zetrablades by Rollerblade due to their comfortable design and closure types to keep you safe during your rides. After you go through the top 10 list, you can also check out the buying guide to see what points you should look into for rollerblades. As you do so, you can find a solid pair that will help you enjoy your time outside!
    Sports and fitness
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