AT A GLANCE
Why Should You Trust Us?
We have been reviewing many other products for over 4 years on Stuffoholics, this includes canister vacuums and Dutch ovens. We have tested over 30 rowing machines that are undeniably some of the best on the market. After 60 hours of thorough testing and community-based usage and other factors, such as looking through the best rowing machine reviews, and we have come up with an accurate top 10 rowing machine list for you. While choosing the exact top 10 we made the decision to not focus on any particular brand, but our facts allow us to have the best products at the top of the list, no matter the brand. In order and accordingly we have selected the most innovative rowing machines on the market.
Why Do You Need a Rowing Machine?
If you feel that your rowing machine really isn’t working your body into shape or you’re not in shape at all then buying a good rowing machine will be a viable option for you. A rowing machine will help those who feel shamed about their body and wouldn’t want to leave the house and maybe go for a run or go to the gym. A rowing machine will allow you to stay at home and not allow others to look at you differently for your body. Our review is one of the best rowing machine reviews on the internet so there is no need to look anywhere else.
If you are looking into weight loss then this is also a viable option compared to running, for example. You can easily burn a few calories off a week if that’s what you are looking to do. As well as a fat burner it can also be a source of toning your muscles if you want to really get into shape.
Type of Rowing Machine
Air rowing machines are one of many types of rowing machines. This type of rowing machine uses high resistance, strong and smooth with it being like a water prototype. The quality of air machines generally is higher than water versions because of the less amounts of moving compartments. The resistance is controlled using a plastic fan and it is usually used by professional Olympic athletes during training.
Magnetic rowing machines are also very viable rowing machines. They are the quietest option out of all the rowing machine types which makes it more relaxing. Magnetic rowing machines come at all prices, this is why they are always considered in most people’s considerations.
Probably the most popular type of rowing machine is the water rowing machine. This rowing machine type is always very smooth and the water tank creates a nice, relaxing noise, these are just a couple of the most notable features a water rowing machine holds. They usually have a unique design which is liked by many users.
Lastly, the hydraulic piston press rowing machine is a very simple and inexpensive machine, probably best for those who are not looking to be serious with their machines and just do it every now and then.
Features to Focus on a Good Rowing Machine?
There are many features that should be looked at in a rowing machine and you can check for some at the best rowing machine reviews on the internet. We will cover just a few of the tens of notable features in rowing machines.
The build quality, for example, is an important feature if you weigh a lot, especially over 250 pounds. Budget rowing machines are unlikely to be able to support the weight of somebody over this weight. How comfortable the machine also falls into consideration because when it is more comfortable you will enjoy it more. Along with these two features, there are many others such as storage, dimensions, warranty and many others.
Dimensions can be a very good thing to look for as well as important because you need to know if it will fit in your home. You can use the dimensions on Amazon, for example, as well as the dimensions of the room you are planning to put the rowing machine in to know if it is the right rowing machine for your room.
The warranty may also be important if you are planning to use the product more than once a week because it has more of a chance of breaking. The length of the warranty is also important as it can be a sign that the company is confident in their product not failing at all or breaking.
Who Are Rowing Machines For?
Rowers are useful for people that are willing to get into shape, incorporate weight loss, and have less stress and even build muscle mass. Realistically, a good rowing machine can be found at the best rowing machine reviews and it will be able to last you a long time, we are talking decades, so if you are looking to consistently use a rowing machine for years then this is the best at-home exercise option for you.
But, this product can be for absolutely anyone realistically, as everyone needs exercise and can’t always leave the house to do so. This is probably the best at home option as of exercising machines.
How We Tested and Picked Our Top Ten
When selecting our top 10 list we thought about usage by the community and practical testing which was done by a lot of volunteers. Some opinions of professionals also went into the consideration of different products. We took into consideration 50 rowing machines and personally tested 30 of them. It would be incorrect and a lie to say that any of the products were perfect but it must be said that they are the best we have found.
Our volunteers took into consideration many features such as weight, design, noise factors and the comfortability. Based on these focus points and some others we carefully picked our top 10 rowing machine list.
Our Top Ten Rower List:
We carefully analyzed just fewer than 50 of the primary features and secondary features there are in rowing machines for every product on this list. We compared the products’ features within our research report that we recommend you view for yourself. Before viewing this useful report we ask for you to like one of our many social media profiles. We are doing this so you can use it to help you choose the best product yourself, with the help of our list.
Why is this product Best Overall?
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing MachineGet It On Amazon
Many features are included that are influential towards the decision of the best rowing machine reviews that we chose which is the indoor Concept 2 machine. Features include a flywheel design, lowering the noise that is made from a workout, a high, 14-inch seat height from the bottom of the rowing machine, a nickel chain which is plated, an ergonomic handle and even a few adjustable footrests.
After the comparison of the rating frequencies over the last 30 ratings, we discovered that this product is receiving ratings at an exceptional rate. In the first 9 days, this product received 10 ratings, in the next 11 days it received a further 10 ratings and the last 10 ratings were received in 3 days after.
The quality of the machine outshone every other product we compared it against and you can see this research report if you like one of Stuffoholics’ social media pages. The building standards allow this product to have exceptional durability.
This product was fantastic to use and there were practically no flaws at all, even after thorough testing. Every part of this product worked excellently, whether it is the movement or its full body workout capabilities.
We loved the sturdy design of this wonderfully made machine. The design was very unique and although it had a peculiar shape it could hold up to 500 pounds in weight. We even tried a mass 50 pounds more than the advised maximum weight limit and the machine did not break or have any damage done to it, although, it was only for a short time limit.
The low impact machine incorporates all muscles, well it did for us and it certainly gave our testers a hard workout. Some even said their whole body was aching the next day. The low impact really made this product stand out from the others for us as it allowed you to work your legs and focus on whatever part of the body you wanted by changing the position and motion. We were always capable of burning lots of calories at a high rate with this rowing machine, but this was dependent on the motion.
In Stuffoholics there are women of around 5 foot 1 who tested this product as well as men who are as tall as 6 foot 4. Nobody had a problem with the seat height of 14 inches and everyone was managing to use the machine perfectly at their respective heights.
Storing this product was extremely easy as it had the simple concept of it being able to fold into two. This company mastered this on this rowing machine and it worked to a brilliant standard. It basically made storing it half as hard as the product splits into two, but this caused absolutely no damage to any of the tested machines.
- Features like 14-foot seat height
- Holds 500 pounds
- Folds into 2
The price of this product when not in the sales is just underneath the 1000 dollar price range of many machines. Although this may seem overpriced we believed this product had fantastic amounts of notable features, which can also be proved by our research report.
Why is this product Best Budget?
From our detailed
Best Budget Choice
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639Get It On Amazon
There are plenty of resistance options to choose from, 12 levels to be precise which can be changed to suit your capabilities. Our budget pick was also chosen because of its fantastic and unusually high rating frequency, as you can see on our research report by Stuffoholics. The rating frequency of the last 30 ratings is 9 days for the first 10 ratings, 8 days for the second set of 10 ratings and 15 days for the last 10.
One noticeable feature we used was the 12 levels of adjustable resistance. Our beginners were happy at the lowest levels like 1 and 2 and they found it very useful and it performed well on all their muscles. The more advanced workers at Stuffoholics found that the higher options worked well for them, such as 9, 10 and 11, with 12 being extreme for even the strongest of our workers.
None of our workers are over 350 pounds but the maximum limit for this product is 350 pounds. However, we did test the capabilities of the strength of this rowing machine by getting weights which added to 375 pounds. We left it for 15 minutes and there was no damage to the product and we couldn’t notice it becoming any weaker.
The full range motion of the arms of the rowing machine worked brilliantly for more body parts and our workers loved this feature as it really improved the muscles in their triceps and shoulders. Just going a bit further was fantastic for us as even more muscles were incorporated in just one movement.
The padded seat was a feature anybody would love and so did our testers from Stuffoholics. Because it was so incredibly comfy all of our workers found it easier to pull the arms and pull against the resistance forces.
The anti-slip foot pedals were also widely noticed features included within this great budget product. The anti-slip foot pedals worked excellently for all of our workers and they never experienced a slip. This is especially important for rowing machines because the pedals need to be the support of your entire body, as the pedals are being pushed against for you to stay upright.
The LCD screen showed lots of important features that we loved. It told us accurate readings of calories burned during a particular session, time, resistance level and etcetera.
- LCD screen features
- Full range
- Bland design
- Old fashioned screen
It is hard to deny that all of these features are definitely worth the price of fewer than 150 dollars. Although there are a few flaws the incredibly low price makes up for this as well as countless good features.
Why is this product the Best Air Rower?
Best Air Rower
Stamina ATS Air RowerGet It On Amazon
The Stamina air rower comes with many effective as well as unique features which include texture handgrips, well-padded seating, multi-functioning monitor and even others. Its rating frequency in and out of sales is also very good, which you can tell by our research report. The rating frequency of the last 30 ratings is 12 days for 10 ratings, another 10 in 8 days and the final 10 ratings were received in 4 days. Reviews are also coming in at a great rate compared to the reviews of other similar air rowers.
For our workers, the decision of this rower being the best on the market wasn’t a difficult decision at all. They loved the features and way this Stamina machine worked. This product held many features that collectively made this a lot of our testers’ favorite air rowing machine.
Firstly, the design is bright and vibrant which really caught our attention before we started testing the amazing product. The design really gets you into the machine and helps you use it with more intent to get more out of it. The design is bright red mixed with black which gives a great contrast and a variety of coloring.
The monitor was very versatile in our opinions. The monitor could track lots and lots of things, 4 to be exact. It can track all 4 of distance, speed, time and calories burned which can tell somebody a lot if they are aiming towards a certain goal each time, like less than the majority of our testers. What it tells you can be easily changed using the button ‘mode’ on the TLC screen, which is simple to use.
The comfortable padded seat was amazing at upping our testers’ confidence during their workouts as it made it easier and more enjoyable to use. The seat didn’t necessarily sink in but the padding made it a lot harder and it didn’t hurt or injure any of our testers’ buttocks.
We bought about 30 of the Stamina air rowers and only one was damaged, due to us placing too high of a weight on the product. However, and luckily, there was a warranty that you could add onto your purchase, and honestly, it is one of the few on this list that have a warranty attached to it. There was a free 3-year frame warranty as well as a 90-day warranty for any broken parts on the frame.
- Screen modes
- Vulnerable to high weights.
When this product isn’t in the sales it is just under 300 dollars and this is great for a product that is one of the best top 10 rowing machines in general. There are plenty of noticeable features for an air rowing machine that are useful to a user.
Why is this product the Best Magnetic Rower?
Best Magnetic Rower
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515Get It On Amazon
The quality of the build is one of a kind with features such as the programmable monitor. Its frequency rating is very good, even better than our top pick in fact. The first 10 of its last 30 ratings were received in 4 days, 2nd 10 ratings in 3 days and the last 10 ratings in 5 days.
Portability with this great machine was brilliant for us. It was packed with wheels that made maneuvering the product around tight spaces easier than having to pick it up, which would be very hard with only one person considering the size and weight. Although, the product is too big to store in a cupboard or wardrobe for example, so it would have to become part of a room.
How are you going to fit it in a room? Well, the design allows it to fit in any modernized room without the need of too many questions from guests or strangers. Although, the question of why you have a running machine may be asked as any normal person would. The modernized look consists of shiny materials and the black and white/grey colors.
The LCD screen displays all sorts of information that could be important to those tracking something or people trying to achieve goals like some of our more overweight testers who decided to set a goal of losing 300 calories each time they used the magnetic machine. The LCD screen display can show and calculate time, distance, calories burnt, scan and count. It has three simple buttons, reset, and mode and reset, all can easily be worked out with a simple play with the buttons.
The maximum user weight is quite low at just above 250 pounds, but we did test a 275 pound person and the product didn’t break, although, we would advise against it here at Stuffoholics. The seat is fully padded for the most comfortable experience and the most enjoyable, which reportedly made our testers work harder with their rowers. The handlebars are also designed so they are non-slip which is special because when you need to pull very high resistances you will need more grip to pull more.
- LCD has variety
- Maximum user weight
This product is probably one of the best magnetic rowing machines on the market and it is definitely the best for its price, which is just below 400 dollars when not in the sales like it is now. There are plenty of respectable features, advanced and normal which are abundant in this product.
Why is this product Best Water Rower?
Best Water Rower
WaterRower Natural Rowing MachineGet It On Amazon
It comes with a handcrafted water wheel which gives the product the feeling of actual oars in the water. The weight capacity of 1000 pounds is the highest on our research report and will certainly be able to hold absolutely anyone, even if they are considered fat. Its rating frequency is also very good.
The unique design of this product really stood out for us here at Stuffoholics. The wooden feature was new, as well as the modern looking water wheel, which we will get onto later. The look is a mixture of traditional wooden materials, which is a light brown tone and black, which is really pleasing to see as it is very contrasting compared to a traditional rowing machine, especially on this list.
As the flywheel is in a closed and compact container it hardly affects the weight of the wooden product and the mass is relatively low. Along with this, the noise produced is also very low for this reason and this product was perfect for our testers who didn’t like noise. This water flywheel made it feel like an actual rowing boat on water with oars according to our testers who found the feel of the machine just like that of an actual rowing boat.
Sound and vibration is astonishingly low for the natural rowing machines as the honey wooden material insulates all the sound particles, therefore eliminating most sound when being used. This product is absolutely fantastic when it comes to noise and we were not disappointed with the relaxing experience. The experience can lead to higher weight and fat loss reportedly, according to our testers.
This water machine tracks unique things. It is useful to most people and most of our testers as it helped them achieve their goals. The water machine by WaterRower tacks all of the following: intensity, stroke rate, heart rate and even more like time. The accuracy of these figures was astonishing and it was great.
The weight of this product is really light compared to most of the products on this list. At 117 pounds this water rowing machine is easy to maneuver. The machine was easy to store, especially in an upright position and it was quite easy to find space for it as width wise it is not very big.
- Noise levels
This product is one of the most expensive on this list, but it is quite average and respectable for a water rower, it’s just over 1000 dollars when not in the sales. This product holds more unique features than most products on the entire report, such as its wooden design.
A List of 5 Other Products We Reviewed
Best for All Ages
Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing MachineGet It On Amazon
The first thing we found great about this Concept2 model was the fact that it supports those with limited mobility due to old and age and unfortunate circumstances, such as those in wheelchairs. This is because of the raised seat, which is a great and noticeable 6 inches above any normal 12-inch height of most rowing machines on our research report. This also helped our testers with flexibility issues.
This Model E product introduced and worked all of the muscles, or at least most, in the testers’ bodies because of its low impact design and intention. The motion was found to have burned more calories than the majority of motions with the arms of the rowing machines on this list, which can be easily identified using our research report.
The motion determines where the monitor which tracks your performance is, which makes it easier to use and a lot simpler with a lot less effort. This monitor tracks everything you can think of that would be useful to you, as it was to our trusted testers at Stuffoholics. The Model E monitor allows you to track your data in whatever unit you want. This monitor even connects to real time so you don’t have to take the risk of bringing your phone out of your pocket.
Concept2 makes it easy to store this product for two reasons, it is lightweight and it splits into two parts. The splitting of the product into two parts is very unique and we used it a lot when storing this considering the product only uses 2 screws for splitting into two parts. However, we recommend you only split the machine when you aren’t planning to use it for over 2 days as it is a little bit of hassle, taking the screws in and out.
- The screen is real time
- Units on monitor
- Splits into two
- Only indoor
This product could be seen as too expensive by many and most people at a price of just below 1200 dollars. However, our testers understood this price because of the feel of the motion and some unexpected features.
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050Get It On Amazon
This cheap non-wooden option is great for beginners in improving their body shapes, such as their abs and core. We didn’t really like the bland design of this product but the product had great features for such an inexpensive product.
One feature we liked was the motion of the arms, really mimicking the motion of a real boat in the water and for an inexpensive product, this is great for aspiring rowers or beginners who cannot afford rowing lessons in the water at local lakes, rivers or beaches.
A motivational monitor is also included within the package which was considered useful by most of our testers but certainly not the best monitor out of all the products on the research report or the top 10 best rowing machine list. The monitor was considered very accurate and it gave some of our testers motivation towards their goal, which could be a step towards the end goal, for example, better abs.
The molded seat fitted all of our testers’ body shapes which is something only this product holds as a feature because most other top rowing machines use soft seating which doesn’t necessarily hold any benefits for your body.
The footing plates made sure your feet were locked in and secure. This is even backed up by texturing on the foot plates of the machine which really prevent slipping of your fight, up and down, right and left. Along with the sturdy, reliable and durable steel material the frame is made out of this product is very sturdy as well as safe.
The foam padded handles on the motion arms were the main comfort concern of our testers and were one of the many features they pointed out regularly in interviews after using the products. Overall, this product was deemed okay by our reviewers, which is good considering its cheap and inexpensive and the fact its targeted towards beginners.
- Soft handles
- Secure feet grip
- Seat is large
- No variation to design.
It’s hard to deny that this product is great for its second-hand price of under 100 dollars, yes it is that cheap. For beginners, the features in this product are a great first step into the realm of rowing machines available.
Best Comfortable Choice
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1410Get It On Amazon
This machine is made by Sunny Health and Fitness. We loved the 12 adjustable resistance levels as they allowed all of our testers and workers at Stuffoholics to enjoy their experience no matter how much experienced or strong they are. Although the difference between the lowest and highest level is certainly a lot, the difference between one level and the next one is little; so it is consistent for everyone.
The thick padded seat is very comfortable and nice to sit on, especially during exercise where things can become very uncomfortable, such as hard seats. The non-slip handles on the handlebars are great for the comfortability because not only does it improve the experience and makes it not hurt but it also increases your performance and subsequently results will be improved, just like they were for our testers. We felt that the comfort factor of this product was one of the main parts of how it made our elite rowing machine list. It even comes with anti-slip pedals and adjustable foot straps which allow you to control how you want to feel when exercising with this product, which is quite rare in other rowing machines.
A very detailed LCD screen shows plenty of important things that you may want to use as a goal in your exercises and for long-term challengers. For example, this product tracks time and you might want to row for a certain amount of time each time, calories burnt is not the most accurate figure but it can be a goal during a single exercise and other features on the LCD are also available for various possible reasons.
The solid frame makes the product very sturdy and pretty impossible to break without exceeding the limited weight for any person who uses it, which is quite high anyway.
- Solid frame
- Comfortable features
- LCD screen
- Low cost
- Poor design
For such a low price of fewer than 100 dollars as it is in the sales as of now and just over 100 when not in the sale. Although the features involved with this rower aren’t the most advanced or the best but they are very good for the cheap and inexpensive price.
Perfect Choice for Cardio
Stamina ATS Air Rower 1405Get It On Amazon
This air rower is one of the best that we could find and test on the entire market. We experienced each and every feature of this product and it has to be said that its features do not disappoint.
The LCD screen is multi-functional and also electronic, which was proven to make no mistakes. It was used with accuracy by our testers in order to reach goals that they individually set. This screen can measure with precision speed, which our testers loved because it wasn’t just a total; it was a measurement of something happening at the moment. As well as this the total distance can be measured as well as time, which the machine uses to give you an average speed as it is incredibly smart.
The seat is both foam-padded and molded for every person’s buttock shape and after usage, we realized that it was probably the most comfortable out of all ten products. This is what the majority of testers believed because the seat was just so comfortable and it suited everybody’s shapes.
This product is very portable and although it isn’t cheap or inexpensive it does fold in half which is great for storing it in the tightest of places in your home and indoors. We received great reviews from our testers about this feature as well as it being praised in Amazon reviews, which aren’t as reliable as our reviews. This product was also very good at training techniques as you pulled back in a straight motion. This is why it is used a lot by confident rowers as an inexpensive and cheap option to some more advanced options. This product was great for using some of the best rowing machine techniques.
A big chrome rail allows for easy sliding as you pull the rowing alternative, maybe to have fat loss or gain some muscles. Fat loss is easy using this machine as it imitates a real rower so much.
- Multi-functional LCD screen
- Seat is foamed and padded
- Not full motion with oars
This portable and folding product comes in at a price of just below 400 dollars when not in the sale which is quite good for beginners or those looking to have fat loss on their bodies through cardio. It can also be used to improve certain techniques as it is not a machine with full-motion techniques and perhaps it is more useful for cardio for you. Although, the techniques in this product are perhaps more concentrated than the techniques on other machines on this list.
Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing MachineGet It On Amazon
When we ordered this portable and folding product we were certainly intrigued by its weird and unique design, which certainly caught the eye. It is portable and folding, probably because it’s so small and compact for a relatively inexpensive for beginners who may want to do cardio workouts or improve rowing techniques like our fabulous testers.
The resistance is not controlled by normal forces, rather a fantastic smoot hydraulic resister. This feature can be seen just below you as you use the product which is quite fascinating knowing what you are pulling. You could see pretty much all of the mechanical parts of this portable and folding machine. This made it great for cardio workouts for our Stuffoholics testers as they were so astonished by the machine they forgot they were even exercising! This hydraulic press can be adjusted and there are not just 12 options, it can be anything you want up to the limit as you can change the tension yourself, explaining why this great cardio machine is so portable and folding.
The LCD screen shows more and more interesting stuff than what we have previously reviewed throughout this list. Those who are mainly looking at techniques will love the row count feature and time feature as they can find out how many rows they have rowed in a certain amount of time. Then, of course, the normal measurements are also included which are distance, speed, calories burned and miles travelled, which is one we have yet to see on this list. This LCD screen was incredibly easy to use on this folding and portable machine because there was only one button to choose from which is great during tough cardio workouts, according to our testers. The testers collectively believed that this LCD screen, next to the pedals or foot plates was the best and most informative LCD screen on the entire list.
- Detailed LCD screen
- Very unique design
- Adjustable tension
- Portable and folding
- Too small
Although this product does come in at a brutal last place it is certainly great for cardio workouts for its small, minimal price. For the price of fewer than 250 dollars, this product is certainly a good option for cardio workouts and practicing techniques.
A List of Other Products We Tested While Preparing This Best Rowing Machine Reviews List
- Stamina 1205 Precision Rower>>>14 Positive Features as seen on our research report
- Stamina InMotion Rower>>>13 Positive Features as seen on our research report
- WaterRower Club Rowing Machine>>>19 Positive Features as seen on our research report
- Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower>>>14 Positive Features as seen on our research report
- Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment>>>13 Positive Features as seen on our research report
- Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower>>>18 Positive Features as seen on our research report
Rowing machines can be used in normal clothes and shoes but we recommend, for the best experience, some over products that can enhance your enjoyment and performance. Without shoes, a rowing machine exercise for cardio or specific workouts can be absolutely devastating if something goes wrong and it is just plain dangerous.
Sneakers, trainers or any type of shoe is recommended to be worn to protect you first and foremost. The clothes you are wearing should aim to not be baggy as these types of clothes can get caught in the machine and we know what can happen then.
Always make sure your machine is clean after each workout as if it isn’t then metals can corrode and the life of the rowing machine will not last very long.
Rowing Machine Technique Tips
Your workouts should mainly focus on your legs because this is what you push off of and where the most muscle builds up, even during cardio workouts the average is 60 percent legs during a workout and only 20 percent arms. Always go back in a straight position to avoid twisting and inevitably falling off and hurting yourself, which can actually hurt a lot. Your strokes per minute should be about 30 as the focus shouldn’t necessarily be on the rate of strokes but rather, on the power you are putting in, since this will give you the most fat loss and most muscle gains.
Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
Some rowing machines that are fantastically built together, such as Concept2 machines require little to no maintenance, however, the lesser well put together machines will require a considerable amount of care. One tip is to wipe and get the grease out of the metal underneath the seat after each workout as this can corrode away metal and stop your seat from moving so cleanly. It can also stop your seat from moving so smoothly and end up making lots of noise. Chain oil should also be applied like a bike to stop slowing or rusting.
Wrapping it Up
Rowing machines are great for practicing techniques or losing weight or fat. Some rowing machines specialize in a certain type of technique like straight back but most are full motion which leans towards fat loss and muscle gain. Prices of rowing machines vary drastically, from under 100 dollars to over 1000 dollars, making a decision in your budget is key. Beginners should go for a simple low priced product to learn unless they have the money to splash out on an expensive machine. Training rowers should always go for the higher quality and higher priced options to improve their skills.