If you want to start working out at home but you don’t have tons of space, a rowing machine is the best piece of gym equipment for achieving a full-body workout from the comfort of your living room.
As well as also being a low-impact activity (which is great for reducing your risk of injury), according to British Rowing, the sport is one of the most physically demanding and has been proven to help prevent illness and disease by increasing your cardiorespiratory fitness and improving your body composition.
To help you hit your fitness goals, The Recommended searched the internet to find the best rowing machines for working out at home. Whether you’re an aspiring Olympian or just getting started on your fitness journey, we’ve considered budget, features and practicality to compile a list of the best rowers to suit every type of user.
The best rowing machines at a glance:
- Best overall rowing machine: Concept2 RowErg with PM5
- Best alternative rower: JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine
- Best interactive rower: NordicTrack New
- Best basic rowing machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Best all-rounder: Dripex Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Best for an on-water feel: JLL Aqua 1 Home Hydro Rowing Machine
- Best budget rowing machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Elastic Cord Rowing Machine
- Best water rowing machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine
The best rowing machines
Best overall rowing machine: Concept2 RowErg with PM5
Used by the pros
“Made by rowers for rowers”, the Concept2 RowErg is the firm favourite rowing machine among Olympians and pro athletes the world over.
This RowErg model comes fitted with Concept2’s ‘Performance Monitor 5’ (PM5), which monitors your distance, speed, pace, number of calories burned, and watts. The PM5 also comes installed with workouts and games, and you can sync your data to your phone via Bluetooth.
The rower itself features a flywheel designed to give you maximum control over every stroke and a spiral damper for changing the resistance. Adjustable footrests and a large, ergonomic handle allow you to alter the machine to suit your size, while the quick-release frame lock mechanism allows you to fold the rower upright for easy storage and to save on floor space.
Best alternative rower: JLL R200 Luxury Home Rowing Machine
Great range of features
If you want a rowing machine for working out at home but your budget won’t stretch to the more premium models, the JLL R200 is a great compromise.
The JLL R200 home rowing machine features a flywheel with magnetic resistance that you can set to 10 different difficulty levels, while a three-inch LCD screen and monitor display your distance, row count, number of calories burned, and time.
The rower also features an ergonomic, foam-padded handle designed to provide comfort while you work out, secure foot pedals for safety, and the machine folds in half for easy storage.
Best interactive rowing machine: NordicTrack New
Premium build and high-tech display
Fitted with a 10-inch interactive HD touchscreen for streaming studio classes and global workouts, NordicTrack’s RW series brings the group workout to your living room.
The NordicTrack RW rower features an impressive 26 resistance settings, an inertia-enhanced flywheel for a smooth rotation, and a sliding system designed to deliver a smooth and quiet rowing experience.
You also get a 30-iFit membership included when you buy this rower, giving you access to a huge library of training sessions and group workouts.
Best slim rowing machine: HOMCOM Rowing Machine
Compact and lightweight design
This rowing machine may have an unusual design, but if your fitness plans are modest, this is an excellent option that you can easily store away without hassle when you’re not using it.
It measures just 67 cm tall when folded away, so it can easily be stored under your bed, in a cupboard or slotted somewhere convenient in your home.
The rower also has a basic LDC that displays time, row count, and the number of calories you’ve burned, and has an impressive 12 adjustable resistance settings.
Best all-round rower: Dripex Magnetic Rowing Machine
15 levels of resistance
With 15 resistance levels, an LCD monitor that measures your performance metrics, and a range of stabilising features, this magnetic rower from Dripext is a solid choice for serious home workouts.
This rower has adjustable straps and pedals to adapt to your body size, a cushioned seat, and a non-slip handlebar designed to stay grippy throughout your workout. It also has a double-edged railway made from aluminium that’s said to help the machine feel smooth and remain silent when rowing.
Best for an on-water feel: JLL Aqua 1 Home Hydro Rowing Machine
The JLL Aqua 1 rowing machine features a hydro-resistance flywheel designed to mimic the feel of rowing on water.
It’s specifically designed so that the harder you row, the greater resistance will be, and it also features five manually selectable intensity levels for greater control.
This rower also comes fitted with an LCD monitor for tracking your time, strokes per minute, distance, number of calories burned and heart rate. Ergonomic handles and foot stabilisers make for a comfortable feel, while the built-in flip mechanism allows you to store the machine upright.
Best budget rowing machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Elastic Cord Rowing Machine
Great for light workouts
This elastic cord rower is a great budget rowing machine for those looking for light workouts at home.
This rower has a large LCD monitor that displays metrics such as time, row count and number of calories burned. It has four resistance levels, so while it’s not suitable for serious rowers, it’s a great machine for anyone wanting a light workout.
Best water rowing machine: Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine
For a smooth workout
This water rowing machine from Sunny Health & Fitness is designed to help make your strokes smooth and stable as you row.
This rower features 16 hydro blades designed to mimic the feel of real rowing. It also has a performance monitor that displays your workout metrics, including time, strokes and heart rate, as well as a moulded seat for comfort and a non-slip handlebar to ensure you get a consistent workout.