Top Ten Best Rowing Machine Reviews

Home fitness has become an important part of modern day living. Lots of people prefer to do their exercise workouts in the comfortable and familiar surrounding of their own home so they are investing in home fitness equipment.

In this article we have researched what we consider to be the top ten best rowing machines available to buy.

Rowing is considered one of the best forms of exercise you can perform as it works for so many different muscle groups and of course it is good fun.

To save you painstakingly going through countless magnetic rowing machine reviews we have done the hard work for you. All you have to do is read this article fully and we are confident it will help you make a more balanced and informed choice before buying the rowing machine that best suits you.

Our Top Best Home Rowing Machine Recommendations

#1 - WaterRower GX
Low maintenance
  • Corfortable to use
  • 17-inch handles
  • Excellently made from premium Ash hardwood
5.0 stars out of 5
#2 - Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5508
Durable Machine
  • Transportable wheels
  • Large LCD display screen
  • Frame is made from top grade steel and aluminium
4.5 stars out of 5
#3 - Stamina 1215 Orbital With Free Motion Arms
Very Affordable
  • 5-year structural warranty
  • Comfortable
  • 90-day warranty on parts
4.0 stars out of 5

1. WaterRower GX

If you want to replicate the feeling of rowing on water without the unwanted prospect of falling in then you really need to take the plunge and invest in the WaterRower GX.

This model is excellently built for home use and you will be glad to hear it requires next to no maintenance. This will be a big bonus for most users.

This machine benefits from having excellent adjustable resistance levels which will help you to perform to your maximum workout level.

Made from premium Ash hardwood that has been harvested from replenishable forests and is treated with Danish oil and has a urethane finish which means the wood is strong enough to withstand daily use. It also has an aluminium monorail with medium duty seat.

This machine has a patented water flywheel that helps to replicate the feeling of rowing on water. The smooth and comfortable performance of this machine means it is good for people with joint concerns. A chlorine tablet is available free of charge.

The 17-inch handles help to give a good comfortable feeling during use and a GX monitor to show you all your relevant data during your workout.

This machine looks the part as it has the GX logo burned into the wood on each side. The GX home model also includes the Indo-Row and ShockWave Workout DVDs free of charge.

The dimensions in use are as follows: L 83.5 x W 22.25 x H 20-inches. When stored. D20 x W22.25 x H 83.5. Weight is 61lbs (dry) and 98lbs (with water).


  • Excellently made from premium Ash hardwood.
  • Two free workout DVDs.
  • Low maintenance thanks to the water flywheel.
  • Comes with 17-inch handles for a comfortable row.
  • Comes with 1-year home use manufacturers warranty (upgradable to 3-year parts while the 5-year frame is free of charge when you register.


  • Some users may find the seat slightly unsteady on this model.

2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5508

If you are looking for one of the best magnetic rowing machines on the market then look no further.

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5508 has so much to offer all at a reasonable price.

This model’s frame is made from top grade aluminum and steel and features an elevated magnetic tension system with 10 adjustable resistance levels.

Workout intensity is important and on this machine you can switch the intensity by just twisting the knob to the level that suits you best.

You can workout in comfort thanks to the fully padded seat and non-slip handles that help provide optimal comfort. There is also large anti-slip pedals that help to keep your feet in place.

Your pulse rate can be monitored thanks to this machine having a built-in Wireless heart rate receiver but the chest strap is not included which is a bit of a shame.

We all like to stay motivated during our workout and this unit has a large LCD screen that displays each stroke you make per minute, distance, pulse rate, total strokes, time and that all important calories burned.

The machine comes with transportable wheels which make it easy to move from room to room. The maximum user weight limit for this machine is 300lbs.


  • This machine is reasonably priced.
  • Seat is fully padded and non-slip grip handles provide added protection and comfort.
  • The frame is made from top grade steel and aluminium.
  • Large LCD display screen.
  • Transportable wheels.


  • A chest strap does not come with the machine.

3. Stamina 1215 Orbital With Free Motion Arms

There are many things to consider when thinking about which is the best rowing machine for home use.

Let’s be honest price is near the top when you are looking to buy any product.

If the price is attractive then there is a good chance you will buy it.

Well the good news is that this Stamina 1215 is available to buy at a very attractive price and you will be getting good value for money if you decide to splash the cash on this unit.

This compact rowing machine has a full range of motion rowing action that mimics rowing on the water which helps you have a good workout.

The smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance with adjustable tension controls help provide a smooth comfortable workout. The same can be said for the thick padded seat and pivoting foot plates.

The LCD monitor displays the number of miles rowed, speed, time, distance, row count and calories burned.


  • Very affordable price.
  • Comfortable and easy to use.
  • 5-year structural warranty and 90-day warranty on parts.


  • This machine may be a little too basic for serious fitness fanatics.

4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5612

This rowing machine is for sale at a very reasonable price. It comes with a magnetic tension system and also has 8-levels of adjustable resistance,

An added bonus when buying this machine is that when using the standing placemats you can put your body weight on it and then use the cord for upper muscle training. You can perform many different exercises such as upright rows for shoulders, bent over rowing for muscles in your back and even bicep curls to build up some arm muscles.

With this model you get an LCD display screen which helps you track your total count, scan, time and the number of calories burned.

This machine was created with comfort in mind and potential buyers will be glad to know that there are non slip handlebars and a fully padded seat which help provide maximum support and comfort.

The antislip foot pedals come with adjustable foot straps which help to keep your feet secure and in place during your workout.

When you are looking to buy the best home rowing machine, one of the things you need to consider is how easy it is to move from room to room. Well this machine comes with transportable wheels meaning it is fairly effortless to move.


  • Dual use meaning this unit can be used for upper body exercise as well as rowing.
  • Excellent value for money.
  • Very comfortable to use.
  • 3-year structural warranty and 90-day warranty on parts and components.
  • Large antislip pedals with adjustable foot straps.


  • Some users may want more adjustable resistance levels than the 8 provided on this machine.

5. Stamina Avari Magnetic Exercise Rower

If you look around for the best stamina rowing machine reviews online you will always find conflicting reports. So we decided to do our own independent review of this model.

This Stamina machine is fairly loaded as it has 12 workout programs including 6 cardiovascular presets, 1 manually set, 4 customized user programs and 1 heart rate program.

The free chest strap is easily worm for any workout program but obviously it works best when used with the heart rate settings.

You can keep track of your fitness progress by looking at your, distance, time, strokes per second, watt, count and pulse on the LCD backlit Touch fitness monitor. The user-friendly arrow keys mean you can adjust your time and resistance settings easily.

The machine also has 7-preset programs that auto adjust the magnetic resistance to get the best out of your cardio training.

Comfort is paramount when training so having a moulded seat and extruded aluminum beam gives a level quiet motion through the drive and cool down stages of your session.


  • Comes with a free chest strap for heart monitoring.
  • User-friendly and easy to use features.
  • Comfortable to use.
  • Loaded with lots of preset programs.


  • This product may be considered a little bit pricey for some buyers.

6. BodyCraft VR500

If you are looking to splash the cash a bit then this BodyCraft VR500 rowing machine may be worth taking a closer look at.

This machine is for the serious fitness fanatics out there. It has a digitally controlled air and magnetic resistance with a whopping 32 different program levels.

Comfort is the name of the game with this machine thanks to having ergonomically specialized comfortable grip aluminium handlebar with a 4-button remote control for resistance settings.

The LCD backlit display screen is easy to read and shows, the time, distance, calories burned, pulse, strokes and watts to keep you well informed during your workout.

This model also has the advantage of having an adaptable heel rest with quick adjustment foot-straps. It works on a heavy-duty mono rail which is made from high quality aluminum alloy.

The machine is very quiet during use which helps you perform better. It also has safety in mind by being built with a child protection lock. You are able to fold this machine in less than 3-seconds thanks its easy fold down system.


  • Has a heavy-duty duty mono rail which is made from high strength aluminum.
  • Has 32 different programme levels.
  • Child safety lock.
  • Adjustable heel rest with quick adjust foot straps.


  • Some people may find this product a bit expensive.

7. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639

Sometimes when you are looking to purchase the best compact rowing machine you can be confused by too much needless information. Don’t worry because the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 could be what you a looking for.

This model has an extended user weight capacity of 350lbs and is built with comfort in mind as it has a padded seat and two non-slip handlebars.

The two handlebars provide full motion movement to provide your arms, back, shoulder and core with a good workout. This in turn increases the number of calories you are able to burn in one session.

The machine benefits from having 12 adjustable resistance levels and the big anti-slip pedals come with adjustable foot straps to help keep your feet secure during training.

This machine also comes fitted with a small LCD display screen which will track your time, total stroke count as well as the number of calories you burn during each fitness workout.

All in all this is an excellent value for money product.


  • 12-level adjustable resistance.
  • Excellent price.
  • 3-year structural warranty and 90-day warranty on parts and components.
  • Fully padded seating.
  • Anti-slip pedals.


  • This machine may be a bit too basic for some users.

8. Concept2 Model E

This Concep2 Model E rower really allows you to get the best low-impact full-body workout while still maintaining a comfortable smooth feel.

Being designed with a flywheel really does give the user a smooth mostly noise-free fitness routine which will leave you feeling refreshed. The spiral damper allows you to quickly change the airflow to the flywheel, so you can change the feel of the stroke to suit your individual need.

Stats play an important part in peoples modern day fitness regimes so with this in mind the performance monitor 5 will prove a hit with users of this Model E.

The performance monitor 5 is the most advanced of its kind and allows you to transfer and store your fitness data on a compatible USB flash drive. It also comes with an adjustable long monitor arm which is within easy reach. You can also wirelessly monitor your heart rate.

The 20-inch seat frame height will be an attractive feature for people whose knees don’t bend quite like you used to, meaning it is easier to get on and off the machine.

In addition to the frame of 20 inches there is a one-piece leg design for the front and back legs to give added stability.There are some added quality features to the machine such as the nickel-plated cable and dual powdercoated for a glossy finish. The nickelplated chain requires less oiling and the powder finish protects against unwanted scratches. The ergonomic handlebar is adjustable as are the footrests.

You are in charge when working out on this unit as it responds to the effect you put into every stroke.

Another good feature of this product is the quick-release frame lock system, which means you can effortlessly separate the unit into two pieces for easy storage. Also benefits from having transportable caster wheels which allow the rower to be moved from room to room.

The maximum user weight limit on this machine is 500lbs.


  • A 20-inch high frame to a seat height makes it easier to get on and off the machine.
  • High-tech Performance Monitor 5
  • Comes with a 5-year frame manufacturers warranty.


  • Some users will find this machine slightly low-tech.

9. WaterRower Natural With S4 Monitor

Some people will be trawling around the internet to find the best water rowing machine reviews. There is no need to, as this WaterRower Natural with S4 Monitor could be the one that caters for all your fitness needs.

This rower is handcrafted from solid Ash wood and finished with honey oak stain and Danish oil. It comes with a flywheel that is enclosed within a water tank that is specially designed to help replicate the feeling of actual on the water rowing.

When working out the experience will be quiet and smooth and you can change the resistance by just going faster or slower. It has no motor just two paddles within the water tank to give you that real-life rowing feeling.

It comes with dual rails with four corner wheels that help to increase the stability of the seat. It also comes with a frame that flips upright for effortless storage and a weight compacity of up to 1,000 pounds.

This machine comes with a Series 4 performance monitor that is able to track your workout performance intensity, heart rate and stroke rate, zone bar, distance and duration. This user-friendly monitor has 6 programming windows, 6 quick selection buttons and three navigation buttons.

The added bonus is that the monitor is compatible with a heart rate chest strap and receiver for the seriously dedicated fitness lovers.


  • Designed with a flywheel that is enclosed in a water tank to give you realistic feeling of rowing on water.
  • No motor which means the machine is likely to last longer.
  • High-tech Series 4 performance monitor.
  • The monitor is compatible with a heart rate chest strap and receiver.
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty (this can be upgraded if you contact WaterRower).


  • Some users will find the foot strap and foot placement awkward to use.

10. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine


This machine really helps you to increase your fitness levels and increase your overall muscle tone. If you want to train like an Olympic athlete then this is the unit for you, as it is designed to take the impact of heavy day-on-day training.

So what do you get for your dollar? Well, you are able to track all your data such as, distance, speed, watts and calories burned thanks to the high-tech Performance Monitor 5. The backlit screen lights up as soon as you start your workout. There is a wide range of excellent features which you can scroll through on the user-friendly menu. There are preset workouts and games with a host of different languages to chose from.

Most fitness aware people are stats driven so a standout feature of this machine is the ability to store or transfer your performance data to your PC or Mac via your own USB Flash Drive.

Another added benefit when you buy this product is the fact that it has ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity that allows you to link up with compatible heart rate monitors to enable you to check your heart rate wirelessly. The beauty of the wireless capability is that it is also able to support machine-to-machine racing and connects to smartphones and computers.

This model benefits from having a flywheel design which reduces the noise while you workout but also provides a smooth effective full-body low-impact workout. The machine is built with a nickel-plated chain, ergonomic handle, adjustable footrests and 14-inch seat height.

Storage is made easy as this model separates into two pieces if you want to store away. And it comes with transportable caster wheels if you just want to move to another space.


  • Wireless connectivity via ANT+ and Bluetooth allows you to link up to heart monitors.
  • Transferable performance data via USB Flash Drive (not included).
  • The Model D comes with a limited 5-year warranty on the frame and a 2-year warranty on the Performance Monitor and moving parts.
  • Reasonable price for the amount of kit you get.


  • The display monitor is backlit green when some users would expect full color.

What Features You Need To Focus On

Compact Size

When looking for the best rowing machine for home use it is important to find out if it can be stored away and fit in your room. If you have limited space then a compact design will be important. No many people will have a designated gym room where several exercise machines can be stored. So make sure you take some room measurements before you buy.

Digital Display

We all like to be able to see how we are performing during our workouts so digital display LCD screens are important. Most will show your time, speed, strokes, distance and calories burned. Others will be able to save and store your data on a portable USB drive.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity means the maximum weight the user is allowed to weigh when using the product. Normally the weight limits are fairly high on fitness products and the higher the weight capacity the better as it normally gives a good indication to how well the product has been built.

Number Of Resistance Levels

The number of resistance levels is important when deciding which machine to buy. If you are just starting out on your fitness journey the number of levels isn’t so important but if you are a seasoned fitness freak then the more levels the better.

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