Best rowing machine: 5 rowers for a full-body workout at home

Pick up the best rowing machine and experience a challenging full body workout everyday

Best rowing machines: Image of three rowers on white background
(Image credit: Future)

With one of the best rowing machines, working out at home can feel exactly like building up a sweat in the gym. It'll just be a lot more convenient. These versatile machines are perfect for adding to your existing collection of the best exercise equipment in order to provide another station to test yourself at, whilst doing circuits or as a standalone purchase to raise your game when it comes to your health goals.

A rowing machine is an excellent long-term investment due to the huge range on offer when it comes to resistance, meaning even if you're at the peak of your fitness routine, there's still plenty of room to stretch yourself. They are also a great choice when it comes to not pushing your body over the edge, as they are low impact on muscles. To unlock an energizing workout within the comfort of your own home, simply keep scrolling to browse all the top-rated options... 


The 5 best rowing machines to change up your workout routine

Best rowing machine: Image of Concept2 machine

(Image credit: Concept2)

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

The very best rowing machine out there

Specifications

Size: L96" x W24" x H20"
Weight: 64lbs
Resistance type: Air
Max user weight: 500lbs

Reasons to buy

+
In-depth performance monitor
+
Minimal noise creation
+
Easy to store
+
Luxury finish
+
Gym-standard machine

Reasons to avoid

-
A costly investment

The Concept2 is the crown of the rower world, with all the features you would need to feel truly accomplished after a workout. That includes a detailed display to inform you of all of the data you need to progress, and an ergonomic design that prioritizes comfort. It's also wonderful if you're conscious of taking up too much space within your home, as it folds up for easy storage. 

Features and functions
Concept2 works with an air-resistance flywheel, which you can adjust to the level of intensity you need. It can be adjusted through ten levels and creates minimal noise, so it won't disturb the rest of your household. The detailed data aspect of this machine is another selling point, as your performance is measured with every stroke. 

You can set up your display to include time, distance and intervals, with a backlit LCD screen to guide you through your workout. There's also games to guide your workout, if you like to distract yourself as you work up a sweat.

What else?
Avoid a lengthy set up process with this machine, which can be assembled using just eight screws. Once it's up, putting this machine into storage is also unbelievably easy, with caster wheels and a foldable design. Plus, you can connect this machine up with a range of popular fitness apps and join online challenges to compete against people also working out on their machines.

Best rowing machine: WaterRower

(Image credit: WaterRower)

2. WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine in Black Walnut with S4 Monitor

The best rowing machine for investing in your health

Specifications

Size: L84" x W24" x H21"
Weight: 108lbs
Resistance type: Water
Max user weight: 992lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Unbeatable quality
+
Water resistance replicates rowing outdoors
+
Handcrafted
+
Unique look

Reasons to avoid

-
Design cannot be folded away

A WaterRower machine will delight you, with a unique look for your home gym and water resistance to realistically mimic the experience of actually exercising on the water. Designed with a water tank for self-regulated resistance, the aesthetics of this machine will impress alongside the seriously high-quality materials. 

Features and functions
The waterflywheel within this machine replicates actual rowing, whilst the performance monitor tracks workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate and more. The luxury design means that noise is also minimal, as vibrations and sound are absorbed within the body of the machine. 

What else?
If shopping sustainably is important to you, then the fact this machine is made from sustainably sourced wood should capture your attention. The black rails outside of the body of the machine are also styled to prevent scuffing, keeping your interiors looking wonderful. 

Best rowing machine: Image of Marcy rower

(Image credit: Marcy)

3. Marcy Pro Deluxe Water Rower

The best rowing machine for a more affordable investment

Specifications

Size: L77" x W19" x H36"
Weight: 75lbs
Resistance type: Water
Max user weight: 300lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable water resistance
+
LCD monitor
+
Ergonomic seat
+
Large pedals with loops

Reasons to avoid

-
No fold-away design 

If you're not sure of the level of investment you want to make into your rowing machine just yet, this Marcy rower is a comparably more affordable model to test the waters (literally). Using water resistance to get the feeling of really being outdoors, there's a real intensity delivered with working out on this machine.

Features and functions
This machine uses water resistance, which is an excellent option as it allows you to build up strength as the resistance levels themselves are so easy to alter. Simply add or take water out of the in-built tank to push yourself harder or to bring things down a notch. Water-resistance machines are great as they naturally adjust to how hard you're rowing, matching your effort with the level of resistance. 

What else?
There's an LCD monitor to allow you to keep an eye on your workout as you row, and an ergonomically molded seat to keep you feeling fine even throughout long workouts. This machine is fantastic for claiming back your space after you've exercised too, as it can be stored vertically with the use of transport wheels.

Best rowing machines: Image of Mr Captain machine

(Image credit: Mr Captain)

4. Mr Captain Rowing Machine

The best rowing machine for an immersive experience

Specifications

Size: L82" x W22" x H20"
Weight: 58.5lbs
Resistance type: Water
Max user weight: 320lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Vintage oak design
+
Incredibly sturdy 
+
Bluetooth LCD monitor
+
Easy to store 

Reasons to avoid

-
Water resistance won't suit everyone

Take the idea of replicating a real water experience to the extreme with this machine that's designed just like a ship and uses water resistance. Despite it's heavy look, this machine is also worth considering if you want a machine you can store away, with hidden wheels to help you store it vertically.

Features and functions
At the forefront of the design of this particular rower is comfort, which you can see in the adjustable foot plates, ergonomic seat and a deluxe handle. The integrated water tank is also thickened to make the entire machine more sturdy, whilst the frame is made from sustainable wood.

What else?
The display of the Mr Captain machine is advanced, with a Bluetooth monitor that can give you updates on your progress any time. You can setup three different modes, Manual, Interval Custom and Target for variation, and connect to a training app called 'FitShow'.

Best rowing machine: Image of Sunny Health rower

(Image credit: Sunny Health)

5. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower

The best rowing machine that uses magnetic resistance

Specifications

Size : L78" x W19" x H23.2" inches
Weight: 60.9lbs
Resistance type: Magnetic
Max user weight: 250lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Magnetic resistance to keep things challenging
+
Digital LCD monitor
+
Non-slip foot pedals

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as realistic as a water rower experience

Switch up your workouts with this Sunny Health rower, which uses magnetic resistance to amp things up when you want to really push yourself. The resistance is controlled with a tension knob, and you'll feel the impacts of a full body workout after using it.

Features and functions
The digital monitor on this machine has a polished design, and can provide you with all the statistics you need. It gives you information on your time spent exercising, your calorie count, and to measure up how many strokes you've achieved. There are transportation wheels too, to make the foldable design even more beneficial for your home.

What else?
Despite the affordable price, this machine also prioritizes comfort within the ergonomic design. Take advantage of the non-slip foot pedals, a cushioned seat and anti-slip handlebars as you work out.  


Browse more of the best rowing machines...

Take a further browse of rowing machines on offer by brand, just below.

How to choose the best rowing machine?

Resistance
The first thing to consider as you peruse the best rowing machines is what type of resistance you would prefer. There are varying types of resistance; air, water and magnetic. Each of these has its own benefits, with air and water adjusting depending on how hard you're working, to challenge you even further. Models using magnetic resistance are a little different, as you set them, and you'll likely need to manually boost the resistance levels.

Size
Rowing machines are an investment when it comes to altering your space too. If you have home gym ideas that involve integrating a lot of space into your project, then any model is available to you. However, if you're working with a smaller space, then foldable machines or models that are easy to vertically store will make your life a lot easier. 

Noise
As with any home gym equipment, it's also worth considering just how much noise your rower will make too, especially if you have neighbors below you in your apartment.