Best Rowing Machines 2018

Best Rowing Machines For 2018 - Water, Magnetic, Air and Hydraulic Rowers

Here is our expert's list of the best rowing machines on the market today. You'll find our top picks of indoor rowers in five different type categories:  overall winners, water, magnetic, air and hydraulic, as well as two price categories: high-end and budget.

Below each one you will find a link to the best current price as well as a link to our in-depth reviews if you would like to read more about each of our top choices.  You can't go wrong with any of these great rowers...it's just a matter of choosing the one that most appeals to you.

Best Overall Home Rowing Machines

These are the very best rowing machines for home use, based on many different criteria including durability, workout efficiency, ease of use, comfort features, price and value. All are top rated and will be the perfect addition to your home gym, providing years of maintenance-free performance.

UNDER $1000

Concept 2 Model D

UNDER $1500

WaterRower Natural

UNDER $2000

Matrix Rower

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Best Water Rowing Machine

For those of you who prefer the swooshing sounds and the outdoor rowing feel of water resistance rowers, these are the best machines on the market today. They are built strong and solid, and allow you to choose your own resistance levels.  They also include performance monitors so you can review your workout stats.

WaterRower Natural

First Degree Newport Rower

Stamina Wave Water Rower

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Best Magnetic Rowing Machine

If you prefer the quiet resistance and adjustability of a magnetic rower, here are the best rowing machines with magnetic resistance.  These will be more affordable than water models and comparable to air.

LifeCore R100

Stamina Avari Magnetic

Sole SR500

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Best Air Rowing Machine

Similar to magnetic rowers in many regards, if you prefer an air rower these are the very best choices for you.  Again, these will be less expensive than water rowers and about the same price as similar magnetic machines.

Concept2 Model D

Xebex Air Rower

Stamina Air Rower

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Best Hydraulic Rowing Machine

If you're more into the basic, old-school piston rowers, here are some great, well-priced machines in this category.  You'll get a consistent, solid workout and a surprisingly smooth motion here.  These will be the cheapest of all of the options you have.

Kettler Favorit

Stamina 1215

Sunny Health Rower

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Best High-End Rowing Machine

Looking for something a little fancier?  These are the best high end rowing machines on the market, with sleek design, enhanced functionality and incredibly smooth movement and resistance.

Matrix Rower

BodyCraft VR500

Life Fitness Row GX

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Best Budget Rowing Machine

Here are your top choices if you're looking to get the best bang for the buck.  These rowers may not have all of the functionality and durability of the higher priced rowers, but they are perfectly fine for getting a good cardio workout in and getting back into shape.

ProForm 440R

Stamina ATS Air 1399

Sunny Health Magnetic

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Best Rowers - What Should You Choose For Your Home?

Best Rowers - Concept 2 Model D in Black

So there you have the very best rowing machines on the market today.  You'll notice there is a wide range of price points, so it's a good idea to determine what your budget is approximately and then choose a rower that is within that range.

Note that water rowers tend to be the most expensive, followed by magnetic/air and then hydraulic.  Keep that in mind as you are considering your choices.

But which of these rowers should you choose for your home gym?  That's a very good question.  Let's help you answer that one by deciding which one would work best for your particular needs.

Take a look the three different scenarios below, and choose the one that is closest to what you are looking for...

You're training for competition or otherwise a very serious rower...

For very serious rowers or those who plan to work out daily, we would recommend the Concept2 Model D first, but if you want a water rower instead, take a look at the WaterRower Natural.  

Both are in the $1000 range and are as good as it gets for the home gym.  These machines are virtually maintenance free and will last a long time, regardless of how much or how often you work out.

You'll find the Concept2 in most high end gyms, and these are the rowers they use for group training in places like Orange Fitness.  If they are good enough for health club facilities around the world, they're certainly good enough for your home gym.

Other top choices as far as commercial grade quality include Matrix, Life Fitness, First Degree Fitness, BodyCraft and H20 Fitness.  So take a look at those brands as well when you're looking for the best rowing machine.

You're going to row often and want a very good machine, but don't necessarily need commercial-grade...

For those who are not very serious, but still want a high quality machine, then any of the magnetic or air choices above will suit you just fine.  Try to stay in the $500-$1000 range if you can just to ensure a more well-built, well designed machine.

Top brands in this category include LifeCore, Kettler, Sole, ProForm and NordicTrack.  They aren't of the same quality as the Concept 2 and Water Rower but they are perfectly fine for regular home use for those who don't need the best of the best.

You just want to get a decent workout in, burn calories, lose weight, get back into shape...

For the very casual user, the elderly, those who need it for rehabilitation, etc. a hydraulic or one of the lower priced air rowers will probably suit you just fine.  Especially if you don't plan to use the machine regularly.  Most rowers in the $300-$500 will be more than acceptable for light usage.

Top brands in this category include Stamina, Sunny Health and Marcy.  For example, the Stamina ATS Air Rower is very inexpensive, but it gets very good reviews and people seem to really enjoy it.  So you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good rowing machine, especially if you're not a serious rower.

If you're confused about the different types of rowing machines, you can learn more about each on our site to give you an idea of the pros and cons.  This will help you narrow down your choices to the ones that make the most sense for you.

Also, you can find many of the top rowing machines on sale at Amazon, as they carry not only the low and mid priced rowers but also the top of the line models from Concept2, WaterRower, BodyCraft and more.  Plus you can read the reviews to give you a clearer picture of all the different rowers and help you make a more informed decision.

Best Rowing Machine Buying Tips

Best Rowing Machines - Water Resistance

Whether you're looking at one of the inexpensive hydraulic rowers or a top of the line water resistance model, there are certain things to keep in mind as you search for the best rowing machine for your gym.

For starters, read through our reviews as well as those of other users carefully before making a decision.  We give you a nice breakdown of each machine, along with the specs, information about the workout, the warranty, user experiences, etc. so you can get a nice overview of each model.  With our reviews combined with those of other users, you can make a much more informed decision.

We give you our top picks based on a variety of criteria, but you may just find that another model within a brand works better for you.  For example, we love the WaterRower Natural, but you might prefer a darker wood color for your home gym.  As such you could consider some of the others in the lineup.  Similarly, we chose the Concept 2 Model D, but if you need a higher seat, then the Model E would be the best rowing machine for you.

On less expensive rowing machines, consider an extended warranty to cover yourself, especially on the very cheap rowers in the $100-$300 range.  The ones we recommend are good, but still with the cheaper parts they can break down over time.  An extended warranty will give you an extra few years, and is usually worth it for peace of mind.

As we mentioned, you're going to find one of the widest selections at Amazon, so it's a good idea to start there not only because of the wide variety but also because of the prices, the availability of extended warranties, the user reviews and the fact that you can very easily return the rowing machine if you're not happy.

Also, try to stretch your budget as much as you can.  Remember, this is not a roll of paper towels.  This is a piece of cardio equipment that you are using to get into shape, at least a couple days a week if not every day.  So skimping on quality to save $100 doesn't really make sense, considering you'll have the rowing machine for a number of years.  What's $100 over the course of 5 years?  So spend as much as you can and invest in a good rowing machine, one that you can rely on and that you'll enjoy using.

So those are our buying tips when it comes to finding the best rowing machine for your home gym.

If you need help choosing the ideal one, please feel free to contact us and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.

Best Rowing Machines - All Rower Award 2017

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