Health Technology

Best Rowing Machine for Home – January, 2021 Reviews & Buyers Guide

Let’s be real. If you find it difficult to exercise (like many of us, myself included), having actually to go to the gym can make it even harder. You may not live near a gym (or at least not a good one), you may have too busy of a work or personal schedule to find the time to go, you may dislike working out in public, or you may just want to, you know, not have to leave your house every time you work out.

While you can work out from home, it can be reasonably difficult to get everything you need out of a home gym. There’s a lot to consider: strength training, cardio, working out all the muscle groups of your body, and finding a routine that’s engaging enough to keep you working out consistently.

An excellent option for this? A rowing machine for home use. This piece of equipment helps you perform a low impact, high result workout that can do everything you need—right in your own home.

Eager to get started? Here are a few things you’ll want to be aware of before you dive in:

1. A workout with a rowing machine can be a smart selection for someone with joint issues. The fluid motion can be more comfortable on your joints than many other exercises, so you can get the results you crave without having to sacrifice your health.

2. While it is a low impact workout, it’s a good idea to get looked at by your doctor before you start any new workout routine. This is especially true when you’ll be working out at home without a trainer or medical expert nearby to monitor you.

3. Rowing machines can be extremely heavy and awkward to move. If you’re likely to have to run your rowing machine after each use, or if it’s going to be just you set it up, it may be a good idea to opt for a small, lightweight, or foldable rowing machine to make things a bit easier.

4. A rowing machine may seem expensive, but as it can do so much for your fitness, it can actually replace many other pieces of equipment you may otherwise have to buy. Look at it as an investment in your overall health, and you’ll quickly see how even the more expensive models can be worth it.


Ready to find the best rowing machine for home, office, or any other personal space you want to turn into your very own gym? Read on for our top ten picks for the ideal rowing machine for home use.

Best Rowing Machine for Home

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Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor

One of the main benefits of working out at a gym is working with a trainer who can help monitor your progress and keep you on the right track as you work out. But with the right rowing machine for home gym use, you can get many of the same benefits without having actually to go the gym.

The Concept2 Model D with PM5 Performance Monitor can act as your own personal trainer while you work out at your home. The PM5 Performance Monitor can even wirelessly connect to apps and heart rate belts so that you can keep track of nearly any aspect of your performance you want to monitor.

Not only that, the PM5 Performance Monitor can offer you more reliably comparable results thanks to its ability to self-calibrate. If you’re searching for the best type of rowing machine for home use, one that basically doubles as your fitness coach or personal trainer may be the answer to your hunt.

Pros and Cons

  • PM5 Performance Monitor included
  • Easy assembly
  • Caster wheels make it mobile
  • The seat may be uncomfortable to some
  • Some find the aesthetics dated

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

Just because you want to commit to working out at home doesn’t necessarily mean you have the space to put together an entire home gym—or even to fit one large piece of exercise equipment. But don’t worry, you can still get the workout you desire without having to trade in your bedroom and start sleeping on a couch in the living room (I know people who have considered doing this).

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is small and compact, making it an excellent selection for someone who doesn’t have endless amounts of room to fit their workout equipment. But while it’s very compact, it offers the surprisingly unique feature of full range motion rowing, so you’ll feel more like you’re actually out on the water (instead of in your small apartment).

Pros and Cons

  • Full range of motion
  • Molded seat
  • Foam-padded hand grips
  • Feet may pop out of the pedals

Kettler Coach E Rowing Machine

If you’re looking for variety in your workout, the Kettler Coach E Rowing Machine has got you covered. It offers an impressive 12 different programs, including ones that help automatically keep you at your target heart rate so you can be sure you’re reaching your cardio and strength-training goals at once.

The Kettler Coach E Rowing Machine is also a useful rowing machine for home, if you’re a big-time stat and progress tracker, thanks to its easy-to-read LCD screen that is designed for maximum accuracy. It can monitor nearly everything you need for your home workout, including your stroke count, your energy consumed, your pulse rate, and your time and distance.

It’s not only focused on utility, though; the Kettler Coach E Rowing Machine offers thick padding on its seat, so can experience the best in comfort while seeking out the best in your own rowing performance.

Pros and Cons

  • 12 programs offered
  • Customize your resistance level
  • Comfortable seat
  • Expensive

EFITMENT Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower

While noise, when you’re working out a gym, is to be expected and can be entirely acceptable, at home, it’s an entirely different thing—and this is especially true if you have close neighbors or are working out in a dorm room or other less private space.

If you’re curious what is the best rowing machine for home use considering how loud so many can be, the EFITMENT Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower may be your answer. Thanks to its magnetic resistance, it offers a silent workout so that you won’t disturb your family, roommates, neighbors, or even yourself (because not everyone wants to have to blast music to drown out their workout).

The EFITMENT Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower is also super compact, which makes it as unobtrusive as it is quiet.

Pros and Cons

  • Silent workout
  • Small enough for dorm rooms
  • Digital monitor
  • Low maximum weight limit

Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Just like with anything in your home, you’re going to want any exercise equipment in your home gym to be sturdy enough to withstand accidents, reliable enough not to have to worry about, and well-made enough to last long enough to see a return on your investment.


The Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine can be a fantastic choice for you if you want your home rowing machine to last, especially if you have multiple people in your household who plan to put it to the test. Thanks to its steel frame construction, the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine may be one of the more reliable rowing machines you can have in your home.

You may expect to have to pay an arm and a leg to find something that will last, but the Harvil Hydraulic Rowing Machine is offered at a very low price, so you can see the return on your investment even sooner (and possibly get far more for your dollar than you ever expected.

Pros and Cons

  • Low cost
  • Safety straps on foot pedals
  • Steel frame
  • Foot pedals may be small for some
  • Assembly can be difficult

WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine

More and more these days, it can be expected that if you are health-conscious enough to want to a home gym and a total workout, you’re also likely to be concerned with the health of the environment. (After all, it’s challenging to stay healthy in a sick, polluted world.)

If you’re as concerned with the health of the planet as you are with your body, the WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine can put your ethical mind at ease. It’s made of handcrafted wood, and all of the wood used is taken solely from sustainable and replenishable forests.

With the WaterRower GX Home Rowing Machine, you can be ensured that you’re not only helping yourself live a long, healthy, happy life with possibly the best rowing machine for home gym workouts but that you’re also helping the environment itself life a long and healthy life.

Pros and Cons

  • Eco-friendly
  • Handcrafted
  • 1-year warranty
  • Can be tricky to balance
  • The seat may be small for some

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor

While a rowing machine is a great way to work out multiple muscle groups, as well as your heart, all at once, you may sometimes prefer to change it up a bit so you can focus more on a specific area of your body. Or you may just get bored with the same-old workout routine and want to mix up the pattern of your routine.

If that’s the case for you, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor was designed with you in mind. Thanks to its tension knob, which twists easily and conveniently, you can adjust the resistance you feel each time you stroke so that you can effectively get a different workout everytime you settle into the row.

It also offers an LCD monitor that tracks your progress. With this, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor helps you keep an eye on which resistance level works best for you and helps you reach your own fitness goals most easily.

Pros and Cons

  • Low cost
  • Non-slip grip handles
  • Large LCD console
  • Fabric cord can fray
  • May not be challenging enough for some

Xtreme Fitness - Rowing Machine Turbo 2000

If you’re just getting started working out at home, or if there are multiple people of various fitness levels that plan to use your home gym (and trust me, once you set up a home gym, all of your friends are going to want to come over and use it), then you’re going to want something that can be effective for both beginners and more advanced users.

The Xtreme Fitness - Rowing Machine Turbo 2000 is designed with both types of users in mind. It can be perfect for both beginner workouts by using the Easy-Dial tension adjustment to set it a low resistance level. Up the resistance level, and it’s suddenly fit for the most competitive athlete to have a go.

The commercial grade smooth rollers also help to ensure that the Xtreme Fitness – Rowing Machine Turbo 2000 can withstand whatever you put it through.

Pros and Cons

  • Low cost
  • Commercial quality smooth rollers
  • Designed for low and high-intensity workouts
  • Low maximum weight limit

Stamina ATS Air Rower

No matter what size you are, you deserve a great workout. You’d think this would be common sense; however, far too many pieces of gym equipment are difficult, uncomfortable, or even impossible to use if you’re pushing six feet tall (and that’s even considering if you’re even taller than that).

Thankfully, the Stamina ATS Air Rower kept multiple sizes of users in their mind when they designed their folding rowing machine for the home. Taller or larger rowers can find the seats are too small in many other rowing machines, but Stamina ATS Air Rower offers an oversized seat so that you’re more likely to find your fit. Not only that, the seat is upholstered and padded for comfort!

And if you’re tall, you’re likely also to have big feet. The Stamina ATS Air Rower offers large foot plates so that you don’t have to try to force your foot to fit awkwardly, and instead, you can settle in and focus on getting the kind of great workout you crave.

Pros and Cons

  • Oversized seat
  • Large foot pedals
  • Relatively low cost
  • Some noise from the fan
  • Some find the pull isn’t smooth

Best Choice Products Electric Rowing Machine

Sometimes there’s just not room in your budget for going to the gym (I feel you there). If that’s the case for you, then you more than likely also don’t have it in your budget to spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a rowing machine for home exercise.

If that sounds like you, then you may be thrilled to know that the Best Choice Products Electric Rowing Machine is offered at an extraordinarily low price, making it a much more realistic option for you if you felt as though a home gym was entirely out of your reach.

A bonus? Not only does the Best Choice Products Electric Rowing Machine come in at a high price, but it also offers some of the features provided by what you’d expect to be the best rowing machine for home use: a LED display monitor to track your progress, a 12 tension control knob to adjust resistance, and a piston resistance that cuts down on noise.

Pros and Cons

  • Extremely low cost
  • Quiet
  • LED display
  • May not withstand long-term use

Final Thoughts

There are many potential reasons you may want to head to the gym every day, or that you may legitimately not be able to. But whether or not it’s your budget, your living area, your schedule, or even just your motivation that keeps you from the gym, it doesn’t have to keep you from a great workout.

With the right home rowing machine, you can get nearly all the benefits of the gym in one piece of equipment in the privacy of your own home. And with the help of this guide, you can feel great about whichever selection you make, knowing that you’re picking from the best of the best!