A home rower is a solid choice for anyone looking to start a home gym or give an existing workout space a boost. This unique equipment can also strengthen certain areas of your body that are not as easy to target with a conveyor belt or elliptical. The best rowers provide a pleasant, full-body aerobic workout.

But before purchasing a home rower, it is important to know the differences between each type of rower and the pros and cons that they offer. While some rowers generate resistance with real water, others use air, magnets, or hydraulics. Beyond more sophisticated features like application compatibility or aesthetic design, there are also some fundamental differences to consider as a type of resistance.

Hydraulic rowers

  • Pro: More space
  • Disadvantage: the oar movement is not as smooth

Air rowers

  • Advantage: cheaper
  • Disadvantage: Noisier than other types

Magnetic and aquatic rowers

  • Pro: the quietest and smoothest types
  • Disadvantage: generally more expensive

Each rower’s sensitivities vary, but there is definitely a machine that can give you the rowing experience you are looking for. Here we have picked our picks for the best rowing machine options, whether you are totally new to rowing or beyond beginner level, space conscious, data driven or looking for something. pretty.

Note that some of these picks for the best rowing machine options may be out of stock or out of stock due to production and shipping issues. Prices for exercise equipment may change frequently online, but the prices below are accurate at the time of posting. We will update this list periodically.

Vanessa Salas / CNET

The Hydrow is a rower, antagonist training class, personal trainer, and AR experience all in one. It offers an ultra-smooth, near-silent row thanks to its nylon traction and electromagnetic resistance, while its screen displays your stroke rate per minute, calories burned and heart rate. (Although the Hydrow works with heart rate monitors, it is not compatible with wearable devices or smart watches.) If you are using the outdoor reality live display screen, you may have the feeling like you’re actually on the water when you’re rowing.

Besides the indoor rowing experience itself, the allure of Hydrow’s rowing training comes from the variety of streaming class videos available through its Class Membership service. Rowing classes last 10 to 45 minutes, while yoga, pilates, and other full body workout options can last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. The only thing is, as you can see from the price, all of these extra features don’t really come cheap – not to mention that a one year class membership ($ 456) and the Hydrow vertical storage case ($ 69) are both sold separately.

Now playing:
Check this out:

The smart indoor rower gets you in shape at home



Members of Reddit’s home gym and fitness communities have been singing the praise Concept2 in general and the brand’s Model D for some time now, and it’s fair to see why. At $ 900, it’s an investment that doesn’t sound like crazy – and it helps that it’s built to last. It is durable, easy to maintain (its nickel-plated chain requires less frequent lubrication than other rowers) and equipped with a smooth and quiet air flywheel.

With such a reliable construction, this is the perfect choice for a longtime rower. At the same time, it offers enough bells and whistles to be more than a utility machine. The primary of these features is the Performance Monitor, which tracks calories burned, pace, speed, distance, and watts, and offers five different display options including games to make your indoor rower workout look better. amusing.

Sunny health and fitness

With magnetic resistance (of which it offers eight levels) and an LCD screen that displays your time, count and calories, among other stats, Sunny’s rower ticks all the essential boxes. In other words, there is nothing fancy. Some reviewers have pointed out that this budget rower’s chain is quite noisy, and its small display screen could be bigger and clearer.

However, it has more than enough to turn a beginner into an avid rower. If you plan to store your rower out of the way for part of the time, it should be noted that although this indoor magnetic resistance rowing model is foldable, some Amazon reviews say this budget rower can be hard to break down.

Endurance body

At around 52 inches in length, the Stamina Body 1050 Rower is pocket-sized compared to the other machines on our list. But we’d say the biggest draw to this hydraulic rower – if you’re an apartment dweller or someone who doesn’t have room for more than a few hand weights in your home gym, this should be your # 1 indoor rowing machine.

And just because you sacrifice size doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on a solid workout with this indoor rower: this chainless hydraulic rower model offers a greater range of motion when you row, and its hydraulic piston system can be set with 12 levels of hydraulic resistance. Meanwhile, its screen (admittedly quite small) monitors workout time, number of strokes, calories burned, and total number of strokes accumulated.

Water rower

This rower lives up to its “natural” title with its solid wood design and water resistance, which allows for smooth rowing strokes and gives a more realistic rowing experience. Additionally, the WaterRower is designed to be quieter than conventional rowers, as wood tends to absorb more sound than, say, metal.

Even though the WaterRower aims to create a realistic water rower experience, you won’t miss your training metrics, thanks to the performance monitor that tracks speed, intensity, time, distance, stroke rate and heart rate (if, that is, you buy WaterRower Heart Rate Monitor Kit as well as). If you ask us, this is by far the best looking rower on this list. However, this sleek wooden construction also means that while it can be stored vertically, it cannot fold to save space.


This rowing machine from ProForm benefits from the compact foldability of Stamina, as well as the high-tech benefits of Hydrow (at a lower price). The rower is free when you sign up for a three-year family membership to iFit Coach, at $ 39 per month, for a total of $ 1,403. iFit Coach is a tablet app with an extensive library of rowing training videos and lessons, plus useful performance information such as speed and heart rate, if you purchase one. IFit Heart Rate Monitor ($ 75).

The rower itself is equipped with a secure tablet holder above its metric console. Speaking of measurements, ProForm records distance, time, calories burned, strokes, and resistance stats. With 24 levels of magnetic resistance for light or intense training and the different iFit classes available, this magnetic rower is ideal for both beginners and more experienced rowers who want to take it to the next level.


Often mentioned in the same breath as the Concept2, this rower is just as high quality without being too expensive. Its 10 levels of air resistance allow for great variability in indoor rowing and its heavily padded seat keeps longer workouts comfortable, but the difference with the Xebex Air Rower is the extent to which it monitors your performance and your improvement as a rower.

For starters, it tracks your basic metrics like time, distance, strokes per minute, calories burned, watts, total stroke count, and heart rate (if you connect the rower to a heart rate monitor ). But beyond these useful stats, this rower also logs metrics like average yards per stroke, average and maximum watts, maximum heart rate, and calories burned per hour. The Xebex makes it easy to stay informed of your progress. It’s currently out of stock, but you can sign up with the retailer to let you know when it’s back in stock.

More fitness tips

Improve your health game in 2021

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have about a health problem or health goals.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here