Best Rowing Machine Find Yours Today! [2016 Top Reviews]


Best rowing machine selection is no easy task.  It is hard to choose with so many types, models, and brands out there; all with good and bad points.  Then you have the different price ranges to consider.  and, It might make you want to pull your hair out, but don’t stress or give up yet because we are here to help.  We have done all the hard work for you.

This blog is for people like you who want to enjoy the amazing benefits of indoor rowers from the comfort of their home.

We will summarize the reviews of all the best rowers and in-depth guides to give you the information you need to make the right purchase and to get the most out of it.

In summary, a rowing machine will help you achieve total FITNESS.   You can also workout with an elliptical machine to achieve upper fitness goals. Elliptical training will provide other great health benefits as well. (Plese check out our sister site)


Our Top Rowing Machine Reviews at a Glance


NameTypeCapacityFolds away?Our RatingPrice

Concept2 Model D
Air500 lbYes

Concept2 Model E
Air500 lbYes

Stamina Air Rower
Air250 lbYes

WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood
Water1000 lbNo

WaterRower Club in Ash Wood
Water1000 lbNo

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
Magnetic275 lbYes

Kettler Kadett Outrigger
Hydraulic250 lbYes

Kettler Favorit
Hydraulic250 lbYes

LifeSpan Fitness RW1000
Hydraulic300 lbYes

Stamina 1205 Precision Rower
Hydraulic250 lbNo

Stamina 1215 Orbital
Hydraulic250 lbYes

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050
Hydraulic250 lbYes

Things to consider when looking to buy the best rowing machine

Before you buy any rowing machine, you should first think about the reasons why you want to get one.  Perhaps you want an effective and fun way to lose weight and to exercise.  The chances might be that you would be happy with a low-cost unit. Perhaps, it may be that you want a realistic way to practice actual rowing. In that case, you should look at the premium rowers like the water and air machines, which are top rower models.  But please, don’t forget that just because one rower is cheaper than the other; it does not mean it is of poor quality. The lower end models of the market have a real purpose.  Those low-end models have a specific purpose.  They are for those exercise enthusiasts who need a reliable machine to get into great shape.

 The Different Types of Indoor Rowers

There are four different types of rowing machines in the market today. The many models differ in how they create resistance as you exercise. Each model has its subtle difference, which you should be familiar with.  But, do not sweat it, we will detail the main differences and features of each top model in our reviews. Just note that The higher priced machines tend to use water, magnetic resistance, or air.  They offer a more realistic rowing experience as they don’t have fixed handles.


Hydraulic Rowing Machine

best rowing machineThese type of rowers make use of hydraulic cylinders connected to the end of the handles.  They are a particularly attractive choice for those who do not have enough space in their home.  These machines are a bit smaller than other types. Unfortunately, the biggest downside is that  they are not as realistic in their rowing action as other types of machines.  The main reason for that is the seat and handles are in a fixed position. It only allows a fixed hand movement back and forth.  There is no leg drive, which is an important aspect of rowing.


Magnetic Rowing Machine


the best rowing machine

Magnetic rowers are the quietest machines. They use electromagnets to provide resistance.  This sounds great. But due to the nature of electromagnets,  change to the resistance is not available.  So despite being a bit more realistic;  they are not without limitations.



Air Rowing Machine

best rowing machine

Your should be looking at the air model If you want a realistic rowing experience. These machines tend to be authentic, which is great for professionals. They are also good for casual users who need something to practice actual rowing.  They are good enough for world class athletes, so that is a testament to their design.


Water Rowing Machine

best rowing machines
These types of machines are for the purists. They are more realistic than air. The resistance in this machines is with an actual paddle moving around in a tank of water.  They tend to be quite and expensive but well worth it, and some of them are beautifully made.


Other Important Features you should think about:

  • Are you interested in sophisticated performance monitor to track data such as rowing speed?
  • Perhaps you want a rower that folds away to save space in your home?
  • Do you need to conduct intensive training?  Do you need a machine that allows higher levels or resistance?
  • Are you more comfortable with an extensive warranty in case there are any issues?

What are the best rowing machine exercises?

The idea behind a rowing machine is for it to mimic the water action, and some models do this better than others.

Today, many people use rowing machines to get in shape, and they have them to get the benefit they provide.  Health reports have confirmed that rowing offers powerful workouts.  This exercise helps to burn massive calories, and it increases fitness levels.

Rowing on these machines causes little to no stress on your joints or knees.   This means that you achieve fitness without causing problems to your body and without injuring yourself.

Rowing machines are a wise investment. Especially IF you are trying to shed some weight or if you are serious about fitness levels.  Once you buy a rowing machine, you will be able to use the machine for many years. With each year you will continue to get the same powerful workouts.


Why should I use a rowing machine?

Here is why you should start using rowing machines as soon as you can:

  • Rowing ensures all your major muscles are exercise
  • This is the safest low impact exercise – with absolute no impact on the body joins.
  • Full cardio workout.
  • Rowing machines come with heart monitoring, and you can see your heart rate target
  • Space efficient -almost all models fold away to store.
  • Calories burn faster in comparison to other exercise methods.


The Best Rowing Machine |  Top  Reviews


(1)  Model D by Concept2

concept 2 rower

The Model D is the most popular rowing machine on the market.

Many athlete enthusiasts regard the Model D as the best.  Professional rowers use this type of machine.  Also, fitness enthusiasts like you and I praise the Model D as the best.  The  manufacturer claims that this machine has been “engineered to last a lifetime.” They offer a 5-year warranty for peace of mind.

This air rower is full of features.  It comes with a top quality performance computer-monitor. It will track your exercise progress,  and you can even play games while you exercise.

Yes, This machine is quite a big investment. But, if you want the best and are serious about your fitness, then the investment is excellent.

You can check out our other reviews online where you can find many people raving about this rower.

(2)  H2O RX-750 Home Series by ProRower

water rower

The H2O RX-750 is one of the most well-priced water machines available on the market. You will be happy to know that this machine’s  high quality compares well to other premium rivals.

For those of you who want the feel of rowing on real water; this is the machine for you.  The feeling of rowing on water is realistic.  You just need to row faster If you want that super intense workout.  The natural adaptive resistance of the water will give you the challenge you are looking for.  But, if you are just in the mood for a gentle workout or a relaxing paddle, then all you need to do is to row a bit slower. This will let you enjoy the feeling of pushing against the water



(3)  Model E by Concept2


Concept 2

This is the newest offering from Concept2.  The machine is supposed to be an improved version of the Model D.

This new model includes everything that made it great, as well as the PM5 performance monitor. This is a standard package. It also offers a variety of other new features. The rower has many improvements:

1) low maintenance chain. 2) an upgraded computer.  3) a more comfortable and higher stance.   4) Its frame is 6 inches taller than the Concept2 D.  5) The monitor arm is longer.

You may think these changes are not particularly groundbreaking. Most likely you are correct on that. But, it is a tall order to fill to improve on what is already the most popular rowing machine in the world.  If money isn’t an issue for you, and you want the absolute best, then you will be happy with this one.



(4)  Kadett Outrigger Style by Kettler


 rowing machine

Kettler is a well know brand, and it offers one of the best budgets in the mid-range rowers.

The  Outrigger happens to be a very nice machine. It has one of a kind design.  It uses a circular movement that tries to mimic the actual rowing motion.  This feature works well.  Since it is a piston machine,  the resistance level must be set to a suitable setting.  Exactly as you would set up a treadmill for example.

In summary, this rower is a good mid-range choice that comes at a nice price. Especially if you are looking to buy their first rowing machine.



(5)  Favorite by Kettler


ab machine

The Kadett Favorit is a very attractively priced machine. It is pretty simple but well made and sturdy.

You would expect this from a German manufacturer.  This rower is a great choice for those who are not too serious about rowing in general. Especially if the rower wants a reliable and effective piece of equipment to get fit.

You can also have a pretty relaxing workout since it doesn’t make much noise.

Bear in mind though that some buyers of this model have reported issues with the resistance level.  We heard some complaints that the resistance change in the middle of their workouts, which could be a bit of an annoyance.



(6)  Trac Glider 1050 by Stamina Body



Just because the price of this rowing machine is in the low range of the market, does it mean that it is poor quality?  NO!  First off, there are some real plus points. It is compact, folds away for easy storage for those who have limited space,  and it has a basic but functional performance monitor.

The best feature, though, is how it can mimic the rowing motion like the more expensive Kettler Kadett Outrigger.  There have been complaints of feet slipping out of foot straps on the machine.  Other customers also complain that the resistance was not high enough.

In summary, this is a great deal for those who have a small budget. There is no reason why you can’t upgrade to a higher end rowing machine in the future.



(7)  1215 Orbital by Stamina


rower workout

The 1215 Orbital is a highly rated but very affordable.

This machine attempts to simulate real water rowing with its smooth hydraulic cylinder.  It also provides a full range of motion.

There are only a few small complaints about this rower.  There have been reports about issues with the general build quality.  However, after considering the price, and the great benefits this machine provides to the rowers, the complaints have been minimal.




(8)  Magnetic Rower by Velocity Exercise



The Velocity rowing machine is very quiet when in use thanks to its magnetic resistance. You could even watch TV during your workout.

For those who are serious about training, this machine even comes with a heart rate monitor. The anodized aluminium body is beautiful, and it will look great in your home. The machine is built solid and with great quality.  It also provides a tremendous workout.

Often, many rowers recommend this model as an alternative to the Concept 2 Model D.   This is a  true confirmation of its quality.

In summary, this rowing machine is a  great investment, and it won’t break the bank either.



(9) WaterRower Natural in Ash Wood



This machine is the king of water rowers, and it will connect you with the feeling of rowing on water like no other machine on the market.

This great machine does not come cheap.  The price is in the same range as the Concept2 Model.  If you are going to choose between the water and the Conccept2,  you will have a very tough choice to make.

In the end,  your final decision would come down to personal preference. If you are specifically looking for a water rowing machine, then this would be your first choice.  But you have to be able to afford the high price tag.

One thing that makes this machine unique is it’s beautiful handcrafted ash wood design. Its looks will get people’s attention, and it will look great in your home.

In conclusion, this machine is incredibly well made,  and it provides a smooth ride that will put a smile on your face. It also comes fitted with the fantastic S4 performance monitor.  The great LCD provides many features that will let you track your exercise at all times.



(10)  WaterRower Club in Ash Wood


water rower

Like it’s cousin the water rower natural (above.)  The  WaterRower Club edition is a beautiful handcrafted machine.  It will provide a countless rowing experience and not let you down.

The difference between the two machines is clear. The club edition is more rugged. It has been designed with commercial gyms in mind or other areas where it may suffer a little more wear and tear.

Therefore, you can probably see from the picture that the wood and rails have been finished to prevent scuffing.  You will also notice that the design looks pretty cool too. Despite its intended use for gyms, it would also sit pretty nice in your home.



(11)  Stamina Avari Magnetic


stamina air rower

The Stamina is the second magnetic rower we have reviewed. This is a good one, priced slightly higher than other comparable machines.

The machine is made by big brand Stamina, and it is rated pretty highly.  The machine provides a very solid option in the mid-range of the market. It is very well made with sturdy aluminium rails, and it provides a pretty realistic rowing motion.  When rowing, the machine is quite compact as well making easy storage another benefit.

Another important feature we must talk about is that this machine comes with an excellent LCD performance monitor.  The LCD screen provides great benefits for the rowers.  It tracks key metrics during the exercise.  The only possible drawback is that the seat is uncomfortable. We will talk about this ahead and read our full review for more details.




The Conclusion:  Yes, It is time to decide!

Now that you have read our introduction, it is time to dive in and read the in-depth best rowing machine reviews we compiled for you.

We conducted the research to provide you with an unbias report so that you can make the right decision.  The reviews will help you with everything you need to make an informed choice to suit your needs.

We would love to hear back from you, on this website. Please let us know if you have any feedback or want to ask us a question, please don’t be shy.  Or write your comments below!  Also, please check out our contact page.

Good luck and start to get FIT with the best rowing machine you select from the reviews we have for you!



  1. Reply Erwin June 25, 2015 at 10:17 am

    you forgot the biorower. This is what national teams use.


  2. Reply Brian January 8, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    You forgot the FIRST DEGREE E-520 and the FIRST DEGREE Vortex 3! They ARE easily the BEST on the market HANDS DOWN…REALLY!!

  3. Reply Tess January 22, 2016 at 4:22 am

    A couple weeks ago I purchased the WaterRower Natural. The quality is excellent, very quite, tranquil water sound while getting a great workout at your own pace. A great purchase.

  4. Reply Edgar @ GarageGymPlanner February 23, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Nice guide! Answers a lot of questions about rowing machines. Would be great if you can mention an approximate price range for each machine.

  5. Reply Vivian July 6, 2016 at 6:26 am

    All the kettler models, have had huge and lasting success in the market. So I’m not surprised that 2 made it (Favorit & Kadett) on your list. I have and use the Coach and the experience has been really impressive. I feel like rowing more than once per day. But following my doctor’s request, I have to stick to a schedule of 1 session or less per day. Like the waterrower too, planning on getting one soon.

  6. Reply WywołYwanie zdjęć July 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your
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    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.
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    • Reply Tommy September 8, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      thank you for the update and yes, we are looking to have a new an improve look. We will take this feedback into considerations.

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  8. Reply Michael Brandon September 5, 2016 at 2:01 am

    I purchased the FIRST DEGREE E-520. great product

    • Reply Tommy September 8, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Michael, thank you for letting us know about the purchase–and please give us some more feedback on the machine as you use it. The entire community here would like to hear your feedback. Also if you have suggestions about our blog, we would love your ideas.

    • Reply Cesar Beltran October 5, 2016 at 4:08 am

      Hello Michael, just checking to see how you are progressing with the First Degree machine? Please let us know.

  9. Reply Tommy September 8, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Hi there! I will ask our IT gurus to take a look–We have not heard this feedback before, but will looking this asap. Truly appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

    • Reply Tommy September 12, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Hi there got the report back form the iT gurus.. They have tested the blog with Safari and Chrome and did not find any specific concerns. We will continue to monitor. Thank you.

  10. Reply Cesar Beltran October 9, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Hello, everyone. We have just published our new an improved material. We hope you find the blog informative and that you all enjoy the easy to read format that our editors the “gurus” at writing recommended we implement.

    As always, we welcome your comments and ideas to make this site even better! Thank you all for your ideas and comments.

    We love to listen to our readers, and we do hear you “loud and clear!”


  11. Reply Wywoływanie October 17, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    The greatest post about rowing machines I’ve ever seen. Finally I know what to buy.

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