Find the best rowing machine! We’ve spent hundreds of hours reviewing the most popular (and not so popular) rowing machine brands and models. Here are our favorites in five price ranges.
How does a rowing machine earn a top ranking? The machines that we’ve selected provide the best overall values at their respective price points. These rowers offer challenging and comfortable workouts and will outlast the competition. They provide the most useful combinations of features in their price tiers, plus they carry competitive manufacturer warranties.
Our top choices reflect all the factors that matter to rowing enthusiasts and to people who are simply seeking great whole-body workouts.
Best Rowing Machines Under $200
Rowing machines priced under $200 are small and lightweight, yet most can support about 250 pounds and will fit a tall rider. These machines are small compared with more expensive rowers because they use hydraulic pistons as resistance. (Pistons take up little space compared with resistance systems using water, air or magnetism.) The quality varies dramatically in this price category. Our top three choices are among the most durable low-budget rowing machines on the market.
The Stamina BodyTrac Glider is compact, durable and sized to fit most adults. Unlike most indoor rowers it has oar-like rowing arms instead of a single pull-back handlebar. The BodyTrac Glider has 12 hydraulic resistance levels that provide an estimated two to 50 pounds of force. This rower has a 250-pound user weight capacity.
The Avari Easy Glide Rower is the most portable rowing machine on our review site. It weighs just 29 pounds, is 53” long and can be stored upright. Owners describe its 12 hydraulic tension levels as surprisingly strong but caution that the Easy Glide isn’t meant for vigorous use. It can support up to 250 pounds.
The Stamina InMotion Rower is a lightweight hydraulic rowing machine with impressive durability for its low price. This 27-pound model has a foldable steel frame, five levels of tension, and footplates that pivot to support natural movement. The InMotion Rower can support a taller trainee and up to 250 pounds.
Best Rowing Machines Under $300
The best rowing machines under $300 offer a little more variety and stability than the sub-$200 models. Additionally, you can start to get a more full-featured rower.
The ProForm 440r Rower is an inexpensive yet sturdy rowing machine for home use which comes from a recognizable and respected brand in the home fitness industry.
The good looking Stamina X is a simple yet durable air rower. While it falls into the Under $600 category, the Stamina X fares well against more expensive air rowers too. Its resistance system can adapt to suit most skill levels and its frame is sized for riders up to 6’5”. This model can be stored vertically.
The Stamina ATS Air Rower 1405 is a basic indoor rower with some high quality components for its price class. Its fan flywheel naturally adjusts to the rider’s effort, making it challenging for a wide range of skill levels. This machine is a bit larger than another favorite, the Stamina 1402, making it better for taller riders. It can be folded to save space.
Best Rowing Machines Under $600
The best rowing machines under $600 use air resistance. Unlike hydraulic rowers, air rowers can match any user’s strength level. Our three favorites are all made by Stamina Products. The $549 Stamina X tops our list; this good-looking red and black machine has ergonomic pivoting footplates and other high-quality components for its price category. Other good buys are the chrome Stamina ATS 1405 and 1402, which sell for $549 and $499, respectively. The 1405 is set higher from the ground for easy access.
The NordicTrack RW200 is a sleek and reliable rower from one of the worlds largest fitness brands. At a great price and a clean design, you can't beat the RW200.
A well-liked rower by owners, the Stamina Avari Programmable Rowing Machine is at a competitive price point and offers a smooth rowing experience.
The Lifespan RW1000 is a rower from a company that has grown in popularity in recent years. Lifespan is known more for their treadmill desks, but the rower has received some good praise as of late.
Best Rowing Machines Under $1000
The most popular rowing machine on Earth sells for under $1000. It’s a durable $900 air rower called the Concept2 Model D. Other favorite rowers priced under $1000 are the WaterRower GX Home, which has a water drive and a beautiful wooden frame, and the NordicTrack RW200 air rower, which has 20 workout apps and is especially useful to beginners. The brands Concept2 and WaterRower are particularly reliable and manufacture their products in the USA.
The Concept2 Model D is the world’s bestselling indoor rower. Made in the USA, this steel-framed fitness machine is designed to last a lifetime – and with a naturally adapting air resistance system, it will never be outgrown. The Model D and other Concept2 rowers can be linked together both online and physically for team training and virtual races. Concept2 bungee slides (sold separately) can help produce the sensation of on-water training.
The hardwood GX Rower Home is one of the lowest-priced models from WaterRower, a top overall brand. This high quality rowing machine uses water for resistance and naturally adapts to the trainee’s exertion level. Included are a simple data monitor and workout DVDs for both ShockWave® and Indo-Row training. The GX Rower Home is made in the USA and carries a generous warranty.
The Sole SR500 is an ultra smooth rower with air and magnetic resistance from a company that has been putting great home user friendly equipment out for many years.
Best Rowing Machines Under $1500
The $1000 to $1499 price category features rowing machines that are hardy enough for club use and could easily last a lifetime. One favorite is the WaterRower Classic, which is handcrafted from American black walnut hardwood. Another is the top air rower from Concept2, the Dynamic. The Dynamic and other rowing machines from Concept2 can be connected to one another for team training. Completing our list is a hybrid air-magnetic rower from Bodycraft. It has very quiet operation compared with standard air rowers.
This Rower is on of the most popular on the market from the best rowing machine manufacturer by most everyones standards.
The WaterRower Natural is one of WaterRowers most affordable machines and a great value for what you get.
A more commercial-like rower and heavier duty version of the Natural series, the Waterrower Club is among the best in this price range, especially if you're looking for something durable.
Best Rowing Machines $1500+
Rowing machines costing $1500 and up are both durable and luxurious. The WaterRower S1 is a sleek limited edition water rowing machine crafted from stainless steel. WaterRower’s M1 HiRise also tops our list. It has a higher entry level than other rowers do, so it’s more easily accessible to people with arthritis or other limitations on movement. The S1 and M1 HiRise adapt to the user’s effort; WaterRowers do not have preset challenge levels. Our third choice, however — the Vortex VX3, –is a water rower that lets trainees choose from preset resistance levels. It’s a top model from First Degree Fitness.
The WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine is part of WaterRower’s Designer Series. This commercial quality rower is made in the USA from sustainably sourced black walnut and features a patented water resistance system. Programmed to support time, distance and interval workouts, the Classic is appropriate for everyone from beginners to very experienced rowers.
The light commercial BodyCraft VR500 Rower is a top choice combining quiet hybrid resistance with durability. Trainees choose from 32 levels of air resistance and magnetic resistance, and they can make adjustments using convenient handlebar buttons. Other highlights include 12 preset workout programs, wireless heart rate control and an easy-entry design. The VR500 is under warranty for up to five hours of use per day.
The Life Fitness Row GX Trainer is the newest rowing machine from the fastest growing fitness company in the country. This waterrower is super comfortable and is particularly smooth.