The Best Rowing Machines

Are you searching for the best rowing machine available? Stop looking. We’ve found them through hundreds of hours spent reviewing the most popular (and not so popular)  brands and models. These are our favorites organized by 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 and carry competitive manufacturer warranties.

Our top choices reflect all the factors that matter to both rowing enthusiasts and those seeking satisfying whole-body workouts.

Best Rowing Machines Under $200

Rowing machines priced under $200 are small and lightweight, yet most can still 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 to resistance systems using water, air, or magnets.) The quality varies dramatically in this price category, but our top three choices are among the most durable low-budget rowing machines on the market.

#1 - Stamina BodyTrac Glider

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 offers 12 hydraulic resistance levels that provide an estimated 2 to 50 pounds of force. This rower has a 250-pound user weight capacity.

#2 - Avari Easy Glide Rower

The Avari Easy Glide Rower is the most portable rowing machine available. 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.

#3 - Stamina InMotion Rower

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.

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Best Rowing Machines Under $300

The best rowing machines under $300 offer a little more variety and stability than the sub-$200 models. On top of that, you can get a more full-featured rower in this price range.

#1 - ProForm 440r Rower

The ProForm 440r Rower is an inexpensive, yet sturdy rowing machine for home use that comes from a recognizable and respected brand in the home fitness industry.

#2 - Stamina X

The sharp looking Stamina X is a simple, yet durable air rower. While it falls into the Under $600 category, the Stamina X stacks up 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.

#3 - Stamina ATS Air Rower 1405

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 rider effort, so it will challenge a wide range of skill levels. This machine is a bit larger than the Stamina 1402, making it better fit for taller riders. It can be folded to save space.

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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 all come from 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.

#1 - NordicTrack RW200

The NordicTrack RW200 is a sleek and reliable rower from one of the worlds largest fitness brands. Combining a great price and a sleek design, you can't beat the RW200.

#2 - Stamina Avari Programmable

A well-liked rower, the Stamina Avari Programmable Rowing Machine is available at a competitive price point and offers a smooth rowing experience.

#3 - Lifespan RW1000

The Lifespan RW1000 is a rower from a company that has grown in popularity in recent years. Lifespan is best known for their treadmill desks, but don't sleep on their rower that has received much praise.

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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. Our 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.

#1 - Concept2 Model D

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 thanks to the 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.

#2 - WaterRower GX Home

The hardwood GX Rower Home is one of the lowest-priced models from WaterRower. This high quality rowing machine uses water for resistance and naturally adapts to the trainee’s exertion level. A simple data monitor and workout DVDs for both ShockWave and Indo-Row training are also included with purchase. The GX Rower Home is made in the USA and carries a generous warranty package.

#3 - Sole SR500

The Sole SR500 is an ultra smooth rower with air and magnetic resistance from a company that has been putting out great home user friendly equipment for many years.

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Best Rowing Machines Under $1500

The $1000 to $1499 price category features rowing machines that are strong 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 Dynamic, the top air rower from Concept2. The Dynamic and other rowing machines from Concept2 can be connected for team training. Completing our list is a hybrid air-magnetic rower from Bodycraft. It has very quiet operation compared to standard air rowers.

#1 - Concept2 Model E

This Rower is one of the most popular on the market from the best rowing machine manufacturer by most standards.

#2 - WaterRower Natural

The WaterRower Natural is one of WaterRowers most affordable machines and a great value.

#3 - Waterrower Club

A more commercial rower, the Waterrower Club is among the best in this price range. Especially if you're looking for something durable.

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Best Rowing Machines $1500+

Rowing machines that cost $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, so it’s more 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.

#1 - WaterRower Classic

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 expert rowers.

#2 - BodyCraft VR500

The light commercial BodyCraft VR500 Rower is a top choice that combines 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.

#3 - Life Fitness Row GX Trainer

The Life Fitness Row GX Trainer is the newest rowing machine from the fastest growing fitness company in the country. This water rower is incredibly comfortable and is particularly smooth.