Top 7 Rowing Machines for Home Fitness in 2024

A woman using a rowing machine, showcasing one of the top 10 rowing machines for home fitness.
Written by: Author
Edited by: Editor
Reviewed by: Reviewer

Rowing machines have become crucial in my home fitness routine, providing a workout that challenges both my cardiovascular system and muscle strength.

A rowing machine can perfectly mimic the experience of rowing on water.

To find an ideal rowing machine for my home gym, I’ve focused on several key factors.

The type of resistance the machine offers is essential, with options including water, air, magnetic, and hydraulic resistance.

I will focus on these features and compare them across several brands. 

My Top Picks:

1. Hydrow Wave Rower

HYDROW ROWER

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 82%

After my rowing sessions on the Hydrow Wave, I found its immersive features set it apart from others I’ve used.

The live workout routes displayed on a crisp HD screen took me across the globe, and the quality of the sound system made each session more captivating.

Being someone who loves variety, the access to thousands of workouts through membership has kept me motivated.

Space efficiency is top-of-mind for me, and this machine ticks that box.

I found the foldable design handy for tidying up after a workout.

Moreover, despite the machine’s robust build, moving it into an upright position for storage was surprisingly manageable. Durability and resistance are crucial for a rowing machine, and the Hydrow Wave excels here.

What I liked
  • Engaging workouts with live scenic routes
  • Compact and foldable design saves space
  • High-quality, full-body workout machine
What I didn't like
  • Membership fee adds to the cost
  • Hefty setup, might require assistance

2. YOSUDA Rowing Machine 100

YOSUDA Rowing Machine 100

stridestrong.com yosuda 
Customer Satisfaction: 70%

After testing YOSUDA Magnetic/Water Rowing Machine, I’m convinced it stands out as a top contender in the home fitness equipment market.

Its design accommodates users of various heights comfortably, ensuring a personalized and effective workout experience.

The assembly process was straightforward, taking no more than 30 minutes.

The machine’s compact footprint and easy storage solution, allowing for 70% space saving when stowed upright, are good indicators of its user-friendly approach. 

The rower’s performance exceeded my expectations. Equipped with a 10-lb flywheel and a high-quality magnetic control system, it offers 16 levels of resistance, catering to both beginners and advanced users.

The transition between resistance levels is smooth, allowing for a challenging yet enjoyable workout.

Moreover, the inclusion of a large monitor and tablet holder enhances the workout experience, allowing for entertainment and fitness tracking simultaneously. Yousda rowing machine 100 is just one of many exceptional devices of this brand.

What I liked
  • Easy to assemble
  • Quiet operation
  • Supports up to 350 lbs
What I didn't like
  • May feel small for taller users

3. Aviron StrongGo

AVIRON STRONGGO

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 79%

I’m impressed with the seamless combination of strength and cardio training Aviron StrongGo provides. While this is not my top option, I consider it to be one of the best.

The dual air and magnetic resistance system offers a substantial challenge, and it’s astonishing how it intensifies my workouts without generating noise that would disturb my family or neighbors.

The variety of workouts available is particularly captivating. The experience is different every time, preventing the monotony that often plagues home workouts. Storage convenience is another aspect I appreciate.

Space is a luxury, and the Aviron StrongGo respects that. The machine’s compact design transitions swiftly from workout mode to a discreet corner of the room. Roll it out, and within moments, you’re ready for the day’s session.

For those who are tech-savvy, integrating the iPad into your workout regimen brings a wealth of interactive features and contests.

However, bear in mind that this device does not work with Android tablets, so if you’re not an iOS user, this might not be the best fit for you. 

What I liked
  • Engaging workouts
  • Solid build quality
  • Easy to store with a compact, upright design
What I didn't like
  • Requires a separate iPad for full functionality
  • Limited Bluetooth compatibility

“Rowing workouts let you build more muscle by raising the resistance level, whereas treadmills, spinning bikes, and elliptical machines offer limited muscle-building benefits.” – Evan Tyrrell, owner of F45 Training

4. ProForm 750R Rower

PROFORM 750R ROWER

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 65%

ProForm’s 750R is a really great option, which I had the opportunity of testing in a local gym. The live and on-demand classes kept me engaged, almost as though I had a personal trainer in my living room. Storage can often be an issue with home fitness equipment, but not with the 750R.

Its SpaceSaver design made it simple for me to fold and stow away the machine after my workouts, freeing up valuable floor space for other activities. The machine isn’t without its drawbacks. The most notable one is the reliance on an iFIT membership to unlock its full potential.

While it came with a complimentary 30-day membership, continued access required a subscription, which could be seen as an additional investment.

What I liked
  • Compatibility with iFIT
  • Quiet resistance mechanism
  • Space-saving design
What I didn't like
  • iFIT membership required
  • Limited to a 250-pound weight capacity

5. Hydrow Rower

HYDROW ROWER

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 67%

Hydrow Rower is a machine my friend owns and I had the opportunity to test it several times. The machine’s smooth action, coupled with the audio-visual elements, transported me from my home to the tranquil waters of far-off places, which was a huge motivation boost.

It’s not often you find fitness equipment that not only works your body effectively but also entices your mind. While the Hydrow Rower has been a revelation for my home workouts, the mandatory monthly subscription is something to weigh carefully.

It’s a key part of accessing the rower’s full benefits but can add up over time.

Additionally, given its solid build, the machine’s heft is noticeable. Setting it up initially was a task that definitely required an extra pair of hands, but once assembled, the stow-away feature came in handy in my space-constrained apartment.

What I liked
  • Feels like rowing on actual water
  • Interactive workouts
  • Can be stored upright
What I didn't like
  • Premium pricing
  • Requires a monthly membership

6. Echelon Smart Rower

ECHELON SMART ROWER

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 65%

After taking the Echelon Smart Rower for a spin some months ago, I was impressed by the solid build quality and the intuitive placement of resistance controls right on the handlebars. The machine operates smoothly and silently, a big plus for me as I like to catch up on shows while working out.

The adjustable resistance levels challenged me without the noisy clanking you get from some other rowers. The onboarding experience was enhanced with easy access to live and on-demand fitness classes offered by the Echelon Premier Membership – a nice touch for someone looking to stay motivated.

The membership seems like a worthwhile investment, which are neatly displayed through the new LCD screen. The rower is quite heavy, which speaks to its durability, but this can make the assembly a bit challenging. That said, once set up, the convenience of its foldability came into play.

I found it relatively easy to tuck away after my workout, making it an excellent choice for small living spaces.

What I liked
  • Engaging classes available
  • Smooth, silent magnetic resistance
  • Foldable design for easy storage
What I didn't like
  • Requires Echelon app for full experience
  • The initial setup process can be somewhat involved

7. NordicTrack RW900

NORDICTRACK RW900

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 56%

NordicTrack RW900’s iFIT workouts had me rowing through scenic locations, which kept me engaged far beyond my usual routine. The quality of the rower matched the immersive experience, making it quite the sturdy workout companion.

I appreciated the convenience of pairing my Bluetooth headphones directly with the machine—blocking out distractions was a breeze. The built-in speakers were a nice touch when I felt like sharing my playlist with the room. The rowing motion remained consistent and smooth, thanks to that inertia-enhanced flywheel.

I did notice a few hiccups with the iFit software.

There were moments when my workouts didn’t save correctly, which was a tad frustrating. While the touchscreen is responsive and vivid, I did miss the option to toggle between streaming services. Being limited to just iFIT content might be a downside for some.

What I liked
  • Engaging iFIT content
  • The machine is sturdy
  • Easy Bluetooth headphone connectivity
What I didn't like
  • Some issues with the iFIT app
  • Customer service

Buying Guide

Buying Guide - find the best rowing machine - reviewed

When choosing the right rowing machine for home fitness, I consider several key factors to ensure that I select the best possible model for my needs and space. Here’s what I pay attention to:

Resistance Type

When selecting a rowing machine, one of the critical factors to consider is the type of resistance it offers. The resistance type not only affects the feel of the rowing experience but also influences factors such as noise level, maintenance requirements, and the ability to simulate real rowing. 

Air resistance rowers are among the most common and simulate the natural dynamics of rowing on water. They use a flywheel to create resistance: the faster you row, the higher the resistance.

Magnetic resistance rowers offer a quieter alternative to air resistance models. They use magnets moving closer to or further from a flywheel to adjust resistance levels. Magnetic rowers provide a smooth rowing experience with the advantage of virtually silent operation, making them ideal for home use where minimizing disturbance is crucial.

They also typically allow for precise resistance adjustments, making it easier to tailor your workout to your specific fitness level.

Magnetic Resistance - Buying Guide - find the best rowing machine - reviewed

Hydraulic resistance rowers are compact and generally more affordable than other types. They use pistons filled with air or fluid to create resistance. One of the main advantages of hydraulic rowers is their small footprint, making them suitable for smaller spaces.

Water resistance rowers use a paddle suspended in a tank of water to create resistance. The intensity increases with the speed of your rowing, offering a dynamic and natural rowing experience that closely simulates rowing on water.

Size and Space

Rowing machines vary significantly in size, and their footprint can impact how well they fit into your designated workout area.

For those living in smaller spaces, such as apartments or shared houses, selecting a rower that accommodates spatial constraints becomes even more important.  

Space is essential regardless of the type of device you are looking for. Naturally, you need to know what you are looking for.

Compact and Foldable Options

Compact and Foldable Options - find the best rowing machine

Compact rowers are typically smaller in size from the get-go and may have a shorter rail, which could be a consideration for taller users.

On the other hand, foldable rowers offer the best of both worlds: they can be extended to full length during use and folded up for storage, significantly reducing their footprint when not in use.

  • Compact Rowers: Ideal for those with limited space who do not require the full range of motion provided by larger machines. 
  • Foldable Rowers: Perfect for users who prioritize both a full-range rowing experience and the ability to reclaim their space after workouts

Monitor/Console

The monitor or console is important for tracking the progress. A well-designed one can motivate you by providing immediate feedback on your performance.

Monitor and Console - rowing machines - for fitness

A good rowing machine monitor should display key metrics that are crucial for tracking fitness progress. These include:

  • Distance: Knowing how far you’ve rowed in a session can help gauge endurance and stamina improvements. It’s also useful for setting distance-based goals.
  • Time: Monitoring how long you’ve been rowing not only helps in managing workout duration but also in pacing yourself during timed sessions or intervals.
  • Calories Burned: This metric is particularly important for those focused on weight management or tracking energy expenditure as part of a broader fitness plan.

Beyond the essential metrics, some rowing machine monitors offer advanced features that can further enhance your training:

  • Heart Rate Monitoring: Integration with heart rate monitors, whether through built-in sensors or compatibility with wireless heart rate straps.
  • Preset Workouts: Some consoles come equipped with preset workout programs that vary the intensity or focus on specific goals.
  • Connectivity: Features like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity allow for syncing with fitness apps or online platforms.

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