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Best Rowing Machine Reviews of the Top Brands

Your search for the best rowing machines one can use indoors probably brought you to this page; you should also know that the trend of more people exploring exercising equipment for home use is exploding in popularity. Since I dropped my last gym membership, I know have indoor tools that perform just like the ones found at the top gyms, without all the hassle stuff and long-term financial commitment.

Even if you’re experienced in latest rowing machine workouts, getting one of your own can be overwhelming, due to the many types of rowers one can find within the fitness industry. From the rower reviews that I have looked at, the biggest worry for any potential buyer is making sure the best row machine is purchased and delivered for home use.

This is not like buying a dumbbell weight or bottle of perfume. Before investing in any exercising equipment including a rower, one must carefully weigh the pros and cons associated with that particular model, to make sure it can deliver great workouts just as promised in the sales brochure.

Best Rowing Machine Reviews


As we go further in this rowing machines reviews, it is paramount you keep in mind what type of benefit you think a good brand would deliver. Are you looking to melt away those holiday added pounds, or are you just looking to maintain good overall health profile.

Even if you can find a cheap rowing machine that’s able to enable quick fat loss, you should know that durability and longevity are not found in cheaper models of indoor rowing machines. On the other hand, I have seen some highly touted professional models that fell apart after just a few years, due to poor design and workmanship.

While a higher price might help get you a better rower, knowing the types of rowing machines and selection factors, are the essential factors for picking out one from the many top-rated rowing machines available for sale online.

If you’re more acquainted with rowers and just want one with the best price and functionality, you can go directly to the product selections page.

Types of Rowing Machines

Most rowing machines have certain similarities but differ when it comes to the type of resistance mechanisms embedded within. While a good resistance can help you adjust your workout routine, it is the realistic experience of feeling like you’re moving through water that makes them unique and crucial to best rowing machines.

Common resistance types found in top rowers are:

Rowing Machines with Magnetic Resistance

Some might call rowing machines with magnetic resistance the most popular and affordable rowers on the market. One of the key benefits of magnetic rowers is that they tend to be very quiet with a long seat rail.

These machines are designed to utilize electromagnets as the key component of resistance braking. The frictionless braking system allows one to experience a sleek glide. Some might say the lack of friction can affect the intensity of your workouts, which I totally disagree with.

I do know you’ll need extra efforts to keep your momentum going. Some brands might offer less portability due to the rigid design, and should be measured carefully if you have limited space. From all the available data gathered for these rowing machines reviews, it is an ideal match for beginners.

Rowing Machines with Air Resistance

Air resistance rowers will come with a large flywheel housing a fan blade. The fan is activated when the rower handle is pulled by the rider. This simple action helps to create wind resistance with a welcoming cooling breeze. Trust me; you’ll come to like the feel of that breeze once the intensity of your workout kicks into high gear.

The faster and harder you row, the resistance generated by the flywheel is substantially increased. Good brands will come with adjustable flywheel settings, which can also be used to alter the resistance level to suit your rowing style. A brave and hardworking beginner might get one, but they’re more suitable for intermediate and advanced rowers.

Rowing Machines with Piston Resistance

Rowing Machines with Piston Resistance

For the most part, some of your smaller rowing machines will have piston resistance. Piston resistance rowers are far cheaper than the other type of rowing machines reviewed. The resistance function is enabled with hydraulic pistons, which are embedded to the rower’s handlebars.

At least some of the top models will allow you the choice of adjusting the resistance on the pistons. You’ll find that this type delivers good upper body strength conditioning during workouts. Unless you find a model with padded and textured arms, expect the pistons to get hot after just a few hours of constant use.

Apart from affordability, piston resistance rowers offer more flexibility as some of them are designed to be foldable. Most budding users will find this type of rower easy to use, due to several unique factors.

Water Resistance Rowing Machines

Water Resistance Rowing Machines

If you want to get the feeling like you’re rowing a boat, this type of rower might serve you right. A water tank is embedded within Water resistant rowers. The inside suspended paddles are activated as the user pulls on the handle.

You’ll actual hear the paddles turn in the water to create the natural resistance. If you want harder resistance, you just pull the handle harder. The level of the water in the tank will also affect the level of intensity of your workout.

You might find the wave-like noise soothing, but they’re not as portable as the other models. Despite its higher cost, water resistant rowers are just as popular as an air resistance model, which says a lot for its performance metrics.

Which Resistance Rower is better for me?

All the above-mentioned types of indoor rowing machines have their own advantages and disadvantages. While your buying decision will be influenced by your budget, keep in mind your available space and how often you intend to use the rower.

If you’re familiar with how a rowing machine functions and feel, then you selection process will be stress-free. On the other hand, beginning indoor rowers should find a way to get acquainted with some of the rowing machine types, through your local gym or big sports dept. store.

Once you know which type makes you feel more comfortable as you row, best prices can always be found online. You can look below through our rowing machine reviews for best one for home use.

Benefits of Rowing Machines for Home Use

There are so many benefits that can be derived from regularly using top-rated rowing machines; the problem is finding all the most important ones for this review. Even within the healthcare industry, this is the most highly recommended and efficient piece of fitness equipment.

Proper use of an indoor rower will help you shed those extra pounds. Not only can you use one to keep your slim figure or maintain your physique, your cardiovascular health will be in tip-top shape.

A good indoor rowing machine will deliver better overall physical fitness. With just a regular resistance workout, one can lose 250 to 450 calories per hour according to a study by Harvard medical team. The higher the resistance level used, the more weight loss stories you can write.

If you want to have toned muscles, just continue daily workout on a rower and see what happens. Your consistency will be rewarded with a muscular physique that would even surprise your friends and next door neighbors.

The muscle toning will be gradual, but I can guarantee you’ll see massive improvement in your physique in a short period of time, as compared to just running, lifting weights or swimming. Rowing works all your body muscles for a better looking you.

Regular daily exercise using a rowing machine will help to keep the stress blues away. Mayo clinic recently conducted a study that showed physical activity helps to stimulate the pleasure centers within the human brain. Even animals get pleasure from some physical activity.

Have you noticed the excitement displayed by your dog when it’s time to go outside for a walk? In fact, my Doberman pinscher sometimes prefers to go outside and play, rather than eat his favorite meal.

In humans, good and regular cardiovascular workouts will help to increase the endorphins released within your body, which contributes to less stress while also increasing feelings of happiness. You can read this article in psychology today, about the relationship between exercise, pleasure and the brain.

Factors to Keep in Mind as you Search for Best Home Rowing Machine

Apart from other personal needs you might have in mind, below are crucial points you want to remember before making the ultimate decision to own your own rowing machine today for better overall health:

How much space do you have in your home? While you know your living quarters intimately, have a suitable location in mind where you’re going to put the indoor rower once it arrives. Let your available space be your guiding light as you navigate through all the different types, and models of rowing machines in the reviews below.

Some might say a good indoor rower will occupy as much space as a regular love-seat. On the average, the most popular air resistance rowers do require more floor space than most of the other types.

Will it enhance your workout? Fitness equipment is as good as the design. Pay close attention to the established metrics of your machine’s workout effectiveness. A good brand of commercial grade rower will have adjustable air resistance, which enables better intense workout than one with hydraulic pistons.

On the other hand, commercial grade rowing machines may not motivate a beginner. The type of handles will play a significant role in your workouts effectiveness.

What about pricing? Like all humans, we tend to want to pay very little and hope to get a lot. What I have learned in life is that you mostly get what you paid for. I have carefully selected several top rowing machines for review, with wide variety of prices.

This is a very competitive niche fitness equipment market, so the prices keep falling to the benefit of enthusiastic customers. Yes you want a rower within your budget, but do not get one just because it’s the cheapest you can find. Get one with better durability and performance metrics, which ultimately leads to more effective workouts.

Rowing Machines Reviews

With the marketplace crowded with many different brands of indoor rowing machines, your desire to find a good deal on an excellent product is sure possible, by looking through the following top-rated rowing machines for sale at discount prices.

Concept2 Model D Review

Concept2 Model D Review

The first review if from a company called Concept2, which has an established reputation within the fitness equipment industry for making good products, including this Concept2 model d indoor rowing machine. Your rower will last as long as the company that makes it sticks around, especially when you need parts or have warranty issues.

This company is known for excellent workmanship, some of their older models can still be found for sale at premium prices online. Concept2 model d pm5 rower is made to deliver better cardiovascular performance with increased fat loss and overall body health.


Not only can it accommodate up to 500 pounds, the learning curve and features are friendly to beginners and advanced riders alike.

The comfort of the seat is made possible because it is wider, which makes it possible to ride for hours, without any stress placed on the lower body parts. The 14-inch seat height will accommodate most body sizes for best rowing results.

Concept2 model d rower comes with a unique flywheel design that not only minimizes the noise level, but also delivers a more smoother feel every hour you spend on it.

Concept2 model d is the ultimate, and probably the most effective low-impact workout for your whole body.

This best rowing machine for home has an embedded performance monitor popularly called PM5. You’ll be able to see the most accurate data for every row you perform. To enhance this feature, the rowing machine has an adjustable arm for just the monitor.

Concept2 model d pm5 has adjustable footrests, with an ergonomic handle. The nickel plated chain is a true addition to a fine rower for indoor use.

The performance monitor and all moving parts are covered by a generous 2-year warranty while the frame is covered by a 5-year warranty.

Best of all, Concept2 rower has an almost perfect score in customer ratings, which is one of the best in the fitness equipment industry.


Truth be told, I had to search far and wide to find anything negative to say about this product. The only con I could locate came from three customers that claimed the delivered equipment did not have all the required parts to work.

One found he had installed the machine the wrong way, and later added an addendum to the review with glowing words for the product. The other two got new machines to the delight of all concerned. Another drawback for those on a limited budget is that this best indoor rower from Concept2 comes with a premium price.

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for best rowing machine for home use, Concept2 model D rower will not disappoint. It requires a small footprint of only 9 x 4 feet, and can seat anyone up to 500 pounds. You’re able to separate the unit into two pieces for easier storage, if you’ll rather not reveal the secret to your emerging buffed physique.

It has a backlit technology display that lights up the moment you begin your workout. Within the monitor are menus you can use to alter your workout to suit your style. You find several preset workouts, and fun games, all in multiple languages. If you have a flash drive after your workout, you can easily transfer your exercise performance data to your PC or Mac computer.

For your convenience, you get the latest in Bluetooth connectivity options. Believe me; it also has wireless capabilities one can use for machine to machine racing if you’re trying to compete with other connected owners of Concept2 rowers.

If you truly desire a rowing machine that can help you lose weight, tone up your muscles, or just maintain your overall health, this top rower from Concept2 is as good as it gets.

Affordability might be an issue for some, but the performance metrics delivered is way above industry standards. It is not for everyone, but only those that want the best indoor rower with guaranteed durability and workout results.

Sunny Rowing Machine Review: Model SF-RW1205

Sunny Rowing Machine Review: Model SF-RW1205

Rarely do you search for good fitness equipment for home use without the name Sunny Health & Fitness showing up in the top results. This nimble and fast-growing company makes so many workout related products that it’s hard to keep track of all of them.

I do give them kudos for coming up with several indoor rowing machines, especially model SF-RW1205. Sunny health and fitness rowing machine should be called the best cheap rowing machine for beginners, due to its very low price.

It does lack a few features, but you can invest in one to see how you like rowing, before investing in a more robust top rated brand, like the Concept2 rower reviewed above.


Sunny rowing machine model SF-RW1205 is as basic as a rowing machine can get, but the price is ideal for budget conscious consumers, and new beginners to this type of workout routine.

Do not let the cheap price fool you; you can still get an effective low-impact workout to build a nice figure or physique. By using this cheap indoor rower, you’ll be utilizing all your major muscle groups, including the legs, back, arms, buttocks and abdominal areas.

Sunny health fitness rowing machine will help you build a stronger back while a beginner can also use it to conduct low-impact aerobic exercises capable of increasing metabolism.

Believe it or not, it also has a good electronic display monitor that shows you the scan, time, how many rows you did, and the calories you burned.

This Sunny rowing machine comes with 12 levels of resistance, and can be easily adjusted to suit your workout needs.

Included for your rowing convenience are pivoting foot plates, and good adjustable foot straps.

It will take up fewer footprints in your living space, and it’s capable of accommodating up to 220 pounds.


Since it can only hold up to 220 pounds of weight, those with higher body weights have to look else-where. It does not have a pulse monitor, which puts cardiovascular patients at a huge disadvantage.

Some of the users had problems with the resistance pull, as it was not that tough, even at the highest level. Some suggested it was more suitable for female rowing needs due to lack of maximum power.

Bottom Line:

It was included in this rowing machine review, because about 90% of existing customers that have tried the indoor rower love it. It will not wow you with some amazing unique features, but it does allow you to shed those pounds and stay in shape with few limitations.

I would recommend this brand to novices new to this type of workout sport. If you find you truly love the tone and physique figure rowing can deliver, you can always invest in another best rowing machine for home with amazing features for a more comfortable ride.

WaterRower Review

WaterRower Review

Did we save the best rower for last, because this indoor water rowing machine is “badass” if you know what I mean? How come all the best rowing machines cost so much?

WaterRower is not just a portable rowing machine, but a true investment for those seeking the ultimate benefit one can get from this fitness activity, right in the comfort of your own home.

I once visited a high-end hotel in California, and they had one of this WaterRower in the gym. Now I know why the rooms were so expensive. Many years later, I still remember that workout with clear vivid memory of the detailed results.

After rowing on the WaterRower for over two hours, I was sweating but not tired. Eventually, other guests complained, and I was politely asked to share as that particular rowing machine had time limitation.

Despite having to add water into the tank for the resistance to function optimally it is a well-designed product with several unique advantages over the other indoor rowers.


WaterRower s4 natural rowing machine is a true conversation starter when your guest arrives. It is made from solid ash wood. Better yet it is not made, but handcrafted with a touch of Danish oil and honey oak stain.

This natural rowing machine from WaterRower is a true water resistance rower, with an actual water rowing feel. You’ll actually see the paddle in the water tank move as you engage the resistance.

WaterRower natural rowing machine is quiet, smooth, and delivers better performance than all the rowers reviewed. Well, the Concept2 indoor rower is an ideal match with a different resistance system.

It has an embedded monitoring system one can use to keep track of the stroke rate, heart rate, and workout intensity.

WaterRower is capable of holding up to 1,000 pounds, which means anyone can row this machine for an effective weight loss stories and toned physique or figure.

Another great feature is the unique design, for it can be flipped upright after your workout for easy, handy storage.

Your WaterRower natural rowing machine with s4 performance monitor is protected by a solid 5-year warranty from the manufacturer.


Looking for any complaint or flaw in this water rowing machine is like trying to find mechanical problems with a new Ferrari sports car. Personally, I love everything about this water resistance rower, but some of you might prefer metal finish to natural wood finish. You do need to monitor the water level for best pressure from the resistance system. One big negative is the price; it’s definitely not for everyone.

Bottom Line:

WaterRower natural rowing machine with s4 monitor is definitely one of the best rowing machines one can use at home, with unquestionable performance metrics. This indoor rower is designed to enable and give you every physical and health benefits, one can expect from regular rowing.

As you row, you can hear the sound of gently sloshing water might which might help you relax, as you workout all your body’s muscles. If you take your workout seriously, then you should look at it as an investment in a better physique and healthier you.


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