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The Best Rowing Machine

Last updated on June 8, 2020

We looked at the top 10 Rowing Machines and dug through the reviews from 33 of the most popular review sites including Top Best 10 Reviews, Products Browser, ReviewingPlus, Best Elliptical Machine Hut, BestReviews, In Stash and more. The result is a ranking of the best Rowing Machines.

Best Rowing Machine

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Our Picks For The Top Rowing Machines

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Concept2

Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Overall Take

Includes Preset WorkoutsSince this rowing machine uses just six screws, you won't have any trouble assembling it.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Verywell Fit, Top Fitness Magazine, Dr. Body Gadget, That Guy Reviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" We tested the Concept 2 in its typical environment: a gym (both home and shared). All in all, it’s a well-designed product. It doesn’t have to be plugged in, it takes very little maintenance and it’s light enough to be..."
Cons
"Pricey, Large footprint."
  The Best Value

Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health

SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Overall Take

Handy LCD MonitorThis rowing machine comes with a digital monitor that displays the time, calories burned and the time spent rowing.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Top Fitness Magazine, BestReviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Sunny Health & Fitness is a well known exercise equipment manufacturer. They’re known for providing a quality product for a reasonable price. The SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine is another fine example of this. This rowing machine is large enough to..."

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality

Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Machine

Overall Take

Full Body WorkoutIn addition to using this machine to row, you can also complete a variety of other exercises with it that benefit your entire body.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus In Stash. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Full Body Workout, Adjustable Tension, Ergonomic and comfortable design, Smart cloud fitness, Folding design for easy storage."

JOROTO LCD Display Magnetic Rowing Machine

JOROTO

LCD Display Magnetic Rowing Machine

Overall Take

Built-In iPhone HolderYou won't have to set your phone on the floor when using this rowing machine, as it comes with a built-in iPhone holder.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Fitness Verve, In Stash, Best Elliptical Machine Hut, Health and Fitness Critique. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Versatile machine features 10 levels of magnetic resistance, Smooth and quiet when in use, Features a folding space-saving design, Lower end of the midrange price category."
Cons
"Resistance level on the light side."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the rowing machines available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

33

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Top Best 10 Reviews, Products Browser, ReviewingPlus, Best Elliptical Machine Hut, BestReviews.

20,190

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and 3 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Rowing Machines and also dug through the reviews from 33 of the most popular review sites including Top Best 10 Reviews, Products Browser, ReviewingPlus, Best Elliptical Machine Hut, BestReviews, In Stash and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Rowing Machines.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Our Expert Score
9.0
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.8
5,501 user reviews
Our Take

If you're looking for a rowing machine that is more high-tech, this is the model for you. Not only does it come equipped with preset workouts, but it also connects to wirelessly to a variety of fitness apps. The ergonomic handle and adjustable footrests also make this rower comfortable to use.

What other experts liked
We tested the Concept 2 in its typical environment: a gym (both home and shared). All in all, it’s a well-designed product. It doesn’t have to be plugged in, it takes very little maintenance and it’s light enough to be...
- BestReviews
Easy to assemble, Comfortable to use, Effective and customizable full-body workouts.
- Verywell Fit
The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is one of the most modern and reliable pieces of machinery out there. It’s designed in a way that it dictates a natural, low-impact, and safe workout that doesn’t overstrain specific muscles or...
- Top Fitness Magazine
The industry standard used by professionals, Suitable for all fitness levels, Extremely reliable, LCD console is accurate and has a lot of features, Quick and easy to assemble, Separates into 2 pieces for storage, Heavy 500 pound max user weight,...
- Dr. Body Gadget
I love the Concept2 Model D since it provides an overall body workout without impacting your joints the way running or biking does and you’re able to achieve the results you want. I have used the Concept2 Model D for...
- That Guy Reviews
What other experts didn't like
Pricey, Large footprint.
- Verywell Fit
This isn’t the lowest priced rowing machine on the market.
- Top Fitness Magazine
Not as aesthetically pleasing as the WaterRower models, Some may consider the flywheel noisy considered to other types of resistance rowers, The seat could be considered too hard for some.
- Dr. Body Gadget
It's a bit pricey.
- That Guy Reviews

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Our Expert Score
5.0
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
2,766 user reviews
Our Take

You'll get great workout with this rowing machine, which uses magnetic resistance with eight different levels. The machine is great for individuals of any height and comes with a padded seat and sweat resistant handlebars. If you need to store the rower when not in use, you can fold it and move it with ease, thanks to the built-in transportation wheels.

What other experts liked
Sunny Health & Fitness is a well known exercise equipment manufacturer. They’re known for providing a quality product for a reasonable price. The SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine is another fine example of this. This rowing machine is large enough to accommodate a wide range of users. With a footprint close...
- Top Fitness Magazine
What other experts didn't like
The console on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine is very basic. You get a handful of readouts to track your workout and that’s it. There’s no ability to download the data, there are no workout programs and there is no ability to monitor your heart rate....
- Top Fitness Magazine

Overall Product Rankings

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 6

Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

2. Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 5

JOROTO LCD Display Magnetic Rowing Machine

4. JOROTO LCD Display Magnetic Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

MaxKare Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

5. MaxKare Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 6

Merax Magnetic Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

6. Merax Magnetic Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

Mr Captain Water Resistance Rowing Machine

7. Mr Captain Water Resistance Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 3

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

8. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 5

NordicTrack RW 900 HD Touchscreen Rowing Machine

9. NordicTrack RW 900 HD Touchscreen Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 6

ECHANFIT LDC Monitor Foldable Indoor Rowing Machine

10. ECHANFIT LDC Monitor Foldable Indoor Rowing Machine

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 3

Our Rowing Machine Buying Guide

If you’re looking for a great way to get in a full-body workout without having to leave the house, a rowing machine is your answer. This device offers a host of benefits, including the ability to burn calories while being easy on the joints. The actual act of rowing is also quite calming, which can help reduce stress. As you search for the best rowing machine, you’ll want to take a look at the machine’s construction, ability to control the amount of resistance and any extra features that improve the unit’s functionality.

Start off by examining exactly where you’re going to set up the rowing machine. Some models are bigger than others and you want to make sure the rower you select will fit in your available space. If you don’t have a lot of space, you can always go with a machine that folds when not in use. Make sure that the machine also has back wheels to making moving the rower easier.

Continue to review the construction of the rowing machine by checking its weight capacity. There are models that can only handle 250 pounds, as well as rowers, like the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine, that have a 500-pound weight capacity.

Determine how many levels of resistance the machine offers. The Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine has a dial that allows you to quickly switch between eight different levels of magnetic resistance. While eight levels is plenty for most, there are rowers that have as many as 16 levels of resistance.

Check how comfortable the rowing machine is to use. If you don’t feel good when you use it, you probably won’t keep up with your workouts. Look for a padded ergonomic seat, foam handlebars that are slip-resistant and a set of adjustable footrests. If you need, there are even models with extra-wide seats and thick handlebars.

Look at the technical capabilities of the rowing machine next. For example, the Fitness Reality Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Machine not only has an LCD digital display for immediate feedback, but it also utilizes Bluetooth technology to connect to the complimentary My Cloud Fitness app. This app is available for both iOS and Android devices and aids in keeping track of your workouts.

Consider any extra benefits the rowing machine may have to offer. Some models are equipped with extra-long side rails, while others are made for additional exercises beyond just rowing. The JOROTO LCD Display Magnetic Rowing Machine uses an aluminum flywheel and slide rail and no-touch magnetic resistance to keep it running quietly. That means you’ll be able to workout early in the morning or late at night without disrupting sleeping family members.

DWYM Fun Fact

Did you know that the first rowing machines were made out of wood over 2,500 years ago? It’s true! Athens and Sparta were at war and this war took place on the high seas. The vessels used during the war required soldiers to do a great deal of rowing. The military for Athens was smart and built wooden rowing machines for the soldiers to practice on, while still on dry ground. Not only did the machines help the soldiers build up their endurance, but they also aided in strengthening important muscle groups.

Fast-forward to the 19th century when a man by the name of W.B. Curtis received a patent for the first hydraulic rowing machine. The machine wasn’t as easy to use as the models we have today, as the flywheels were heavy the movements were not fluid. In the 1970s, the design of rowing machines took a step in the right direction. Gjessing-Nilson added a friction braking system and the ability to adjust the gear and overall speed. Current rowing machines are much more advanced and many even connect wirelessly to a variety of health apps.

The Rowing Machine Tips and Advice

  • Perform a weekly check on your rowing machine. Check that the screws and nuts haven’t come loose. If they have, take the time to tighten them. Use a lubricant on the screws and chains, so that they aren’t rubbing against each other and shaving off any metal.
  • Once per year, it’s a good idea to take the rowing machine apart to adjust and lubricate its inner parts. You should have received a product care manual with your purchase that can take you through this process one step at a time. If you didn’t and you don’t consider yourself handy, you can schedule an appointment with a mechanic and have him or her perform the necessary maintenance for you.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting your rowing machine regularly is extremely important. Choose an all-purpose cleaner with germ-fighting capabilities and use that and a lint-free cloth to wipe down the surface of the rower. The handlebars, padded seat and footrests are especially important, as these spots are the most likely to come in contact with your sweat and the dirt from your shoes. If you prefer to wipe down the machine with a moist cloth, you’ll need to spray the machine down with a disinfectant afterward. Let your rower dry completely before you resume using it for your workouts.
  • Store your rowing machine in a cool dry location when not in use. Hot areas with extra moisture could cause the metal parts of the machine to rust.
  • Always check with your family physician before you begin any new workout routine, even one on a rowing machine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions or are currently pregnant.
  • Set fitness goals for yourself before using the rowing machine for the first time. Start off slow, as you can always increase your goals later on. You can list how long you want to spend on the machine per day, how many calories you want to burn or how many strokes you want to achieve. Simply taking the time to put these goals on paper will help you achieve them.
  • No matter what your budget, you’re sure to find a rowing machine that can help you reach your fitness goals. The Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine and the Fitness Reality Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Machine are among the most affordable models. You’ll pay a moderate price for the JOROTO LCD Display Magnetic Rowing Machine. If you’re looking for a rowing machine with all the bells and whistles, you may not mind spending extra for the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine, which has the highest price tag of the bunch.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in finance. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared on leading financial publications. She's also a certified Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach.