Best Rowing Machine Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Getting the best rowing machine for home is not an easy task considering that there are a lot of models out there. But on this page, you will get all the information you need to choose the best rower that will suit your need. You will find reviews and comparison of the best indoor rowing machines and a detailed buyer's guide. You can quickly navigate by using the content box on the right side.

rowing machines reviews

Top Rated Rowing Machines Comparison



Size (Footprint)




concept2 model


FlyWheel (Air)

9 x 4 feet

500 lbs





84 x 21 x 22 inches

1000 lbs



Stamina Avari


44 x 30 x 11 inches

275 lbs



Lifecore R100


92 x 19 x 36 inches

600 lbs



Stamina Air Rower

FlyWheel (Air)

77 by 18 by 22

250 lbs


Detailed Reviews

Concept2 Model D Review

Key Features & Benefits

Concept2 offers a full body-workout and that too with little or no noise at all. The most appealing feature is that it’s the one which is utilized effectively by Olympic Rowers as well as you might find them placed in individual homes and gyms too.

Another great feature of Concept2 is that it is equipped with a performance monitor that allows you to control your body workout while operating it. The screen will begin working the moment you start rowing, and your performance will be tracked eventually. The performance monitor will reflect your speed, calories burned, the distance along with pace while monitoring your heart rate as well.

One of the exciting attributes of it is that it has the capability to recharge the batteries while you are rowing. You can even play games while you are rowing, fun isn’t it? Games entice us more than anything else, and that’s an amazing thing to increase motivation among people.

Another incredible thing about this fantastic indoor rower is that it offers a detachable LogCard, which is great for storing and keeping track of your workouts. The ultimate benefit of LogCard is that it isn’t confined to one person’s use only instead it allows you to store data for 5 different users.

Furthermore, the adjustable damper is one remarkable feature that lets you change how the strokes handle your presence. If you switch to higher settings you might feel like as if you are rowing a really tough and heavy boat whereas on the contrary if you move to lower settings you will feel much easier. These alterations are ideal for an intense workout.

>>> Check out what users think about it here


  • Entails the Performance Monitor 5 which provides users with accurate and genuine data for each row you do.
  • Stainless steel track
  • ​Easy to assemble and detach for storage purpose
  • ​Adjustable footrests
  • ​Nickel plated chain.
  • ​Ergonomic handle and adjustable footrests.
  • 2-year warranty on the moving parts and performance monitor.
  • ​5-year warranty on the frame.
  • ​The colors include grey and black are decent and goes with every room
  • ​Realistic Rowing Motion
  • Cozy seat

Customers’ Reviews and Conclusion

You will witness a number of happy customers and positive reviews about this incredible indoor rower.

There are numerous features that make Concept 2 such phenomenal equipment that would last a lifetime. Though it’s somewhat expensive but offers great value. Moreover, for carrying out an efficient and powerful workout. It is equipped with a brilliant performance monitor to keep track of what you are up to.

Instead of enrolling yourself in the gym and obtaining gym memberships, you can make an investment in this professional and realistic indoor rowing machine and workout in the privacy and comfort of your home.

Concept2 Model D
1166 Reviews
Concept2 Model D
It is the bestselling rower on the market recommended by fitness experts.

WaterRower Natural Rower Review

Key Features & Benefits

WaterRower is adeptly crafted equipment for exercise. Made with solid Ash wood, enhanced with a very strong rosewood and finished with Danish oil; this machine is a beauty.

It is not only great looking but it is also built with a superior quality material, and it is specially designed to avoid scuff marks. Ash wood helps absorb sound and vibrations while you are working out, so it is primarily designed for high-traffic areas.

Replicating the dynamics of a boat in the water, it is assembled with two paddles known as ‘water flywheel’, which give a very smooth and natural rowing feeling. Flywheel paddles move through the water enclosed in the tank; this helps create self-regulated resistance and add to the sense of the ergonomic workout.

It provides workout performance and feedback by S4 monitor. The monitor functions in various languages and shows miles per hour, meter per second, time per 500 meters, and time per 2 kilometers and calories per hour. It also displays heart rate, and it can be linked to a computer to integrate it with other workout software.

The club’s S4 monitor allows its user to maintain data of the last nine sessions, and it also tracks the equipment’s lifetime distance. The S4 screen is packed with some other useful features, for instance, it has six preset workout programs which allow the trainee to design personalized workouts based on the training goals.

>>> Check out what customers think about it here


  • Weight of the product: 66.5 lbs (30.2 kg)
  • Rower with full water tank: 103.5 lbs (47 kg)
  • ​Comfortable seat and footrests for relaxation and steadiness.
  • ​Very durable Polycarbonate water tank
  • ​Maximum User Weight that machine can bear: 1,000 lbs (454 kg)
  • ​QuickStart/ QuickSelect options in a single button of S4 monitor allows the trainee to start workouts quickly
  • AutoPreview and AutoStore options that keep a record of the last nine workouts.
  • ​ZoneBar features help with setting intensity, heart rate, and stroke rate. It also lets users know when they are outside or inside their zones
  • ​S4 Monitor displays intensity in a number of measurements including stroke rate, heart rate, distance, duration, etc.

Customers’ Reviews and Conclusion

WaterRower has a very positive reputation among its users. Customers love the resistance on this rower and the actual rowing sensation. It is an excellent choice for commercial and light commercial workout rooms.

It is famous for its low impact since it helps removes weight from knees, hips and ankles. For around $1,000, you are getting a very durable equipment and considerable quality for the money.

WaterRower is around 82 inches long which makes it makes it larger than the regular fitness machine, but it is easy to store since the frame flips upright. It is very simple to use and very comfortable. With a very high user weight capacity and advanced features, it is a must-buy.

WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
184 Reviews
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
WaterRower is not only a comfortable and powerful machine, but its design stands our from the other models.

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

Key Features & Benefits

The Stamina Avari is one of the best indoor rowing exercise machines that includes the total body when working out. From back, to legs, to arms, abs and the hips; this machine will challenge all muscle groups. An added advantage of this equipment is the fact that it speeds up the metabolism by providing low impact aerobic exercises; thus, you can burn calories all day long without affecting your joints adversely.

It not only helps you work out but also to monitor it. Having your workouts tracked will push you to work out even harder the next day. Very motivating indeed!

The programmable features twelve programs that can be simply tracked on the backlit LCD Screen. During the programs, the chest straps can be used; this is highly impressive when using the heart rate program as a target. Moreover, seven preset programs automatically control the magnetic tension that will help boost your cardio workout making it even more efficient.

>>> Check out what customers think about it here


  • Muscles targetted: arms, abs, hips, back, glutes, hamstring, shoulders and quads.
  • Workout profiles: 12. 6 profiles for cardio, 1 profile for heart rate programs, 4 custom profiles for users and 1 manual profile.
  • ​Fitness monitor: Monitors count, time, distance pulse, watt and strokes per minute. Also, adjusts resistance and workout time.
  • ​The product includes Backlit LCD screen and aluminum rowing beam.

Customers’ Reviews and Conclusion

This machine has been customers favorite! Customers claim it to be heavy, but its strength is what makes it durable. It comes in three parts hence assembling it is easy. Adjust the parts and you are all set to workout. The built of the machine is such that no excessive pressure is built on any part of the body hence making it extremely safe too.

Due to its compact size, people in small living spaces have also enjoyed working out on the Stamina Avari. A great machine that proves to be very effective- recommended by many; an investment that can not go wrong.

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower
99 Reviews
Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower
The most efficient magnetic machine with inbuilt programs. Perfect for intermediate level users.

Lifecore R100 Review

Key Features & Benefits

Lifecore R100 is a commercial grade rower with some high-quality, exciting features that makes it perfect for both, home and gym users. The first impression one gets when looking at the Lifecore R100 is that it is pretty stable. The company claims that it can carry weight up to 600 lbs.

There is no doubt that the machine is well built and is firm because of the solid steel support and aluminum frame. It also has a very comfortable seat even if you have been rowing on it for 30 minutes.

It comes with a computer + monitor. The monitor is attractive, has an LCD computer display and dual color that makes your workout data easy to read even if the room is darkened. The computer is battery powered, or you can even plug it in via the AC adaptor.

The monitor is adjustable and can be set at any position for users of any height to read easily. The user can choose among the 16 different levels of resistant and 11 pre-programmed workouts that are adjusted on the monitor screen. The computer also automatically adjusts your resistance type according to the heart level while using the Lifecore R100 Commercial Rower.

>>> Check out why users like it


  • Silent drive system
  • Solid steel fan
  • ​Large economically designed seat for added comfort
  • ​Folds for storage
  • ​Large LCD computer display
  • ​16 levels of resistance
  • 11 challenging pre-set programs
  • ​Adjustable cooling air vent
  • ​Stores data for up to 4 users
  • ​Programs that adjust based on heart rate
  • Solid steel support and extruded aluminum frame

Customers’ Reviews and Conclusion

When you look at the price tag, yes, of course, that is a lot to pay for a machine, but when you consider one that is built like the Lifecore R100 with all its features and benefits, it does give you a good value for your money. It is definitely not a bad return on your investment considering the fact that it will keep you in shape for years to come.

Many users have to say that it is a complete package for those who are willing to invest in this machine because of its features and results. The rower is comfortable, quiet and the computer controlled workout system options are excellent.

Some users feel that the heart rate monitor can misread the heart rate of the user at times.

Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
41 Reviews
Lifecore R100 Commercial Rowing Machine
Gym quality machine with many resistance and useful preset workout programs.

Stamina Air Rower Review

Key Features & Benefits

Why spend thousands on your gym membership when you can keep something similar for yourself at home? The Stamina Air Rower is that kind of a machine which gives you the same full body workout that you get from the rowers at your fitness club for which you are paying a fortune. It has a solid steel casing with comfortable padded seat and multi-function monitor that is half the price of the rowers you see at the gym.

It is best for those who don’t really have enough space to keep large machines at their home. It easily folds up and reduces the space by almost 50% once folded. So when you are done using the machine, you can fold it up and put it in some corner of the room. It is known to be one of those machines that have the feature of storage as well as portability.

If you want to store, all you have to do is remove a bolt from its frame, fold it upwards and then put the bolt back in the frame.

If you want to move it somewhere else, the machine has caster wheels that make the machine easier to move anywhere you want. All you have to do is lift up the opposite end of where the fan is and push.

>>> Check out why users like it


  • Use at home as a cardiovascular machine and strengthen entire body
  • Nylon pull and foot straps
  • ​Steel frame
  • ​Air resistance
  • ​Upholstered seat, comfortable padded
  • ​Floor protectors prevent skidding
  • Folds for storage

Customers’ Reviews and Conclusion

It is an exceptionally designed inexpensive home-based air resistance machine. It has a comfortable seating, seamless rowing, and an accurate monitor. One can definitely say that they have found a complete package getting all of that in one machine. Consider you have yourself a winner once you have purchased the Stamina Air Rower.

What users like the most about it is the portability, storage and mainly the price factor. They also found the comfortable padded seat. Mostly people who have no time to go to the gym or can’t afford to pay for it; they buy this air rower as it is pocket-friendly as compared to the gym machines. The users also say that it may not be the gym level type and does not have fancy programs, but it does its job pretty good as being a home user machine.

Few users aren’t fond of the noise level, although a fair amount of noise is expected from any air rower.

Stamina Air Rower (Black, Chrome)
561 Reviews
Stamina Air Rower (Black, Chrome)
Even if this model cheaper than the others, it provides solid and smooth rowing workout at home.

Buyer's Guide

What to Look for?


There are a lot of different models out there on the market today for those that want to add one of these machines to their home. It isn’t like purchasing a new weight bench or squat rack which are pretty much “one-size-fits-all” pieces of equipment.

By arming yourself with all of the inside knowledge, we have to offer you in this quick guide you’ll be able to make quick work of the rowing machine purchasing process. Just use all of the tips and tricks we are able to share with you below and you’ll be off to the races in no time at all!

How much space do you need?

Before you even start to look for any models – and even before you start to think about building a budget – you have but to do a little bit of digging regarding your “real estate” that you have available in your home for your new equipment.

There are quite a few compact rowing machine options out there worth investing in that won’t eat up a lot of your valuable real estate or floorspace, but the overwhelming majority of best rowers are going to be slightly larger and need a bit extra space. Make sure you have it available.

Figure out your budget

The second thing you need to think about when you’re looking to buy a new home rower is how much money you’re ready to spend on a piece of exercise equipment.

There are products available at nearly every price point imaginable (even right around the $100 price point), but the bulk of the top quality machines that you’ll want to spend your time seriously considering are going to be right around $500 or more.

High-quality models – some of the “best in the business” – are going to command price tags near $1000 or more. These are specifically for really serious fitness and busiest and those that are dedicated to making rowing a part of their daily life.

Highlighting the different types of machines

While there are literally hundreds of different models available for sale right now, the bulk of these products can all be segmented into four distinct “types” and that we are going to highlight right now.

Hydraulic piston


These devices are very compact and incredibly stable, though they do not produce the kind of traditional range of motion you’re expecting from a rower.

Using two hydraulic pistons attached to two arms, you’ll be able to control the resistance that comes out of this type, but you’re not going to have the same kind of movement or freedom that you would with a more traditional setup.

Relatively inexpensive, these are designed for folks that might not have a lot of space or a big budget going forward.

Magnetic Resistance


These rowers work on the same kinds of mechanical basis and principles as elliptical trainers, with all of the resistance generated by the activity of electromagnets that have been located close to the flywheel system.

Incredibly compact and super minimalist, these are very valuable for those that have small spaces to work out in. You’ll be able to row with the full range of motion you’re expecting, though you might not be able to increase the resistance to the maximum levels you’re hoping to.

Air/Fan-based Resistance

air rower rowing

The harder and the faster you throw with this kind of machine the more resistance you’re going to get as a feedback. These fan blade style models are going to work fantastic for those that are interested in building endurance and blasting through a dedicated cardio session. However, they aren’t going to be quite as useful for those that want to develop a lot of strength or lose weight in a hurry.

Water Resistance


It is the highest end of the rowing machine world and the kind of rower that almost everyone hopes to own even if they don’t have the budget to do so.

Not exactly the most compact model available. It is the one that most closely replicates and duplicates the resistance that you are going to get when actually out on the water rowing around. You’ll be able to independently adjust almost infinite levels of resistance, enjoy a full range of motion, and will be able to get the best rowing exercise imaginable with this kind of equipment.

Hopefully, now you have a better idea about what the best rowing machine for you is and how to move forward from here!

What Are the Benefits of Rowing Workout?



Trying to find an exercise machine that hits all of your key criteria can be a real uphill challenge, especially if you’re hoping to lose weight, build muscle, and improve your health all at the same time.

That is of course unless you have already decided to move forward with quality fitness equipment, one that gives you one of the best complete workouts you’ve ever had the opportunity to enjoy.

Of course, some people still aren’t sold on the idea of changing their regular training to a rowing machine style program – mostly because we’ve all been programmed to lift iron or pound mile after mile into a treadmill: we want to transform our bodies and our health.

If you’re still on the fence about switching to a rowing machine check out all of the big benefits that we have to showcase for you below!

Get a World-Class Cardio Workout

Every single time you climb on top of your rower you are going to be going through one of the most intense and involved cardio workouts you’ve ever gone through.

With light resistance and high speed and intensity, you are going to be able to blast through your aerobic barriers and squeeze out a lot more effective cardiovascular workouts on it than anything else.

You will be activating almost all of the muscle groups in your body as you grow, and all of that activity is going to force your body to burn fat, build muscle, and improve your aerobic health.

Transform Yourself Into a Fat Burning Furnace

It’s long been understood that working out with higher levels of resistance to really tax your muscles as much as possible is a much more effective way of melting fat from your body as though you were a fat burning furnace – and that’s exactly what this fitness equipment is going to help you do.

Spending just 30 minutes on it with moderate resistance levels can give you the same kind of workout then 90 minutes running on a treadmill would, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Because your muscles are going to have micro damage because of the exercise, your body is going to need to expend extra energy to repair and recover from your workout. You’ll burn fat all day long regardless of whether or not you are sitting on the couch after working out with a rowing machine!

How to Use It Correctly

Rowing is a fantastic exercise. Rowing alone can help you to have toned arms, legs, and a stronger core. Rowing correctly will enhance your agility, increase your endurance and help you to lose weight.

But if you are not rowing properly, then you would not only be deprived of the results but also get injured.

Here are some tips that will help you to perfect your rowing workout.

  • When you sit, you must do so on your sitting bones. Keep your back straight. Do not lean back or slouch. Do not bend on either side. Be absolutely upright from your waist.
  • Your legs will be folded at starting position. Make sure they are straight while being folded and that the knees are directly in line with your ankle and toes. Do not place your feet at slanted angles. Do not let your knees be tilted away from each other or towards each other. They should be absolutely straight with the hamstring and hence thighs, the calves, the ankle, and toes. When you place your foot on the straps, make sure you have a firm footing. Don’t allow your toes to be over the edges or placed at angles other than an upright position on the footboard.
  • ​Hold the handles with your hands but don’t hold them tightly. Your thumbs should be underneath the handles and not at the sides or along your index fingers. Your hands should be exactly your shoulder width apart. Your arms should stretch out straight when you are in the reverse position, which we will talk about later.
  • ​Now you are in position. Remember, don’t slouch or lean backward bending your spine when you row or when you release the pressure. At all times, your back must be straight. Your spine must not be bent by any means, and no pressure should be exerted on the backbone or the spine.
  • Pull the handles and row. Don’t exert pressure using your wrists. Your body, including the core muscles, shoulders, back and biceps/triceps must be used to row. Rowing is a cardio workout and not of a definite set of muscles. When you hold the handles too tightly, you would put enormous pressure on your wrists. Rowing is not about your wrists or hands pulling the handles. There wouldn’t be any added stress on your hands other than just gripping the handles, just like your feet would be for footing and not anything else.
  • Pull the handles as your arms go sideways at your chest level and your hands must end up on the either side of your chest. As you release the pressure, allow your arms to extend fully before you start coming back to your original position. Only when the arms are stretched should you start bending your legs and bring the body back to its starting position, all the while ensuring that your backbone was straight.

I hope you have liked this guide and now you know which model you are going to buy. There is no question that a rower is perfect cardio equipment for home that helps you to be fit and healthy. Considering the features I recommend Concept2. If you have any questions or need advice, feel free to ask below.

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  1. Rebecca