October 2021

Rowing Machines: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Rowing Machine rankings posted by key online experts, as of October 2021.

At a glance - October 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Rowing Machine
The Home Gym
greatist
The Strategist
Business Insider
SELF
Healthline
The Trend Spotter
HiConsumption
Verywell Fit
Popular Mechanics
1
+1 $1019
Concept2 RowErg
-
7
1
1
4
1
5
4
-
1
2
-1 $2295
Hydrow Connected Rower
1
2
3
4
7
9
-
10
1
7
3
- $2384
NordicTrack RW900
2
3
4
5
6
6
-
8
-
-
4
- $249
Sunny Health SF-RW5515
-
-
6
7
2
2
14
-
-
2
5
- Check price
The Ergatta Rower
4
-
-
3
8
-
-
9
8
-
6
- $1095
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
-
8
2
6
9
-
-
-
-
8
7
- $339
Stamina ATS Air
9
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
9
5
8
- $999
The Echelon Smart Rower
3
10
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
9
- $600
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
-
4
-
-
-
-
-
3
3
-
10
- Check price
MaxKare Magnetic Tension
-
-
5
-
3
5
-
-
-
-
11
- $129
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
12
- $777
ProForm 750R
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
6
-
4
13
- $150
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050
-
-
-
2
-
4
-
-
-
-
14
- $100
Sunny Row-N-Ride
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
15
- $769
Stamina Conversion II
-
9
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
16
- $733
Schwinn Crewmaster
-
-
-
-
-
7
18
-
-
-
17
- $329
Stamina 1215
-
-
-
-
-
-
15
-
4
-

We ranked Concept2 RowErg #1 in October 2021 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
  • Out of those, 4 experts ranked Concept2 RowErg as #1.
Critic endorsements:
greatist

Best air resistance

Pros
Easy to assemble, Bluetooth connectivity

Cons
Air resistance can be noisy, resistance levels might not be tough enough for more advanced athletes.

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The Strategist

Snooping: Jason Statham’s rowing machine

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Business Insider

The best row machine overall

Pros
Smooth gliding operation
ease of assembly
large size to accommodate tall people

Cons
Pricey
requires a bit of space (9 feet by 4 feet) but worth it

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SELF

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Healthline

Best overall rowing machine

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The Trend Spotter

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HiConsumption

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Popular Mechanics

Most reliable rowing machine

Pros
Smooth, quiet flywheel
Used by commercial fitness centers
Super durable

Cons
Monitor is very basic

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We ranked Hydrow Connected Rower #2 in October 2021 because:

  • 9 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Hydrow Connected Rower as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Home Gym

Best Overall Rower

Pros
Interactive workouts from home
Heavy-duty, single piece frame
375 lb weight capacity
Advanced, computer-controlled magnetic resistance system
Adjustable drag
22″ HD touchscreen monitor
Access to hundreds of live and on-demand workouts
Smooth gliding seat/rail system
Easily adjustable foot pedals
Easy assembly
Good warranty

Cons
Vertical storage kit not included

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greatist

Best splurge

Pros
Real rowing feel, built-in speakers, large touch screen

Cons
Expensive, membership required

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The Strategist

Strategist-tested: Senior writer Karen Adelson’s pick for all-in-one rowing at home

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Business Insider

The best smart rowing machine

Pros
Extensive library of motivating classes and rowing events
delivers a full-body workout
features quiet
electromagnetic resistance

Cons
Expensive

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SELF

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Healthline

Best rowing machine for in-water simulation

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HiConsumption

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Verywell Fit

Best Overall

Pros
Most immersive rowing experience
Top-of-the-line design
Smooth and quiet strokes

Cons
Larger footprint than other options
Heavy

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Popular Mechanics

Best "real water" feel

Pros
375-pound weight limit
Close to real-water feel
Sleek and quiet

Cons
Expensive
Need add-ons for storage

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Rowing Machines.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Rowing Machines, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for October 2021 ranking

We ranked NordicTrack RW900 #3 in October 2021 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Home Gym

Pros
Dual, magnetic/air resistance system
26 levels of magnetic resistance
10 levels of air resistance (damper)
30 built-in workouts
Folding frame
Large, comfortable pedals with quick adjust straps
22″ HD touchscreen display
Adjustable console
1 year iFit included
Chest strap heart rate monitor compatible
Hundreds of on-demand workouts to choose from (iFit)
Scenic rows
4 user profiles
Great warranty

Cons
Weight capacity only 250 lb
Heart rate monitor not included

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greatist

Best for classes

Pros
1-year iFit membership with purchase, large touch screen, easy to store

Cons
Membership requires payment after the first year (currently $396 annually), air resistance can be noisy

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The Strategist

Men’s Health editors’ pick

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Business Insider

The best digital-resistance rowing machine

Pros
Interactive workouts
easily folds up
utilizes a dual resistance design

Cons
Expensive
iFit membership costs $39 per month (after the first free year)

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SELF

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Healthline

Best high tech rowing machine

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HiConsumption

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We ranked Sunny Health SF-RW5515 #4 in October 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Strategist family poll: The rowing machine I bought my dad for Christmas

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Business Insider

The best rowing machine for beginners

Pros
Economical with eight levels of resistance
easy to fold and store

Cons
Only okay cord quality
rail might be too short for tall people

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SELF

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Healthline

Best budget rowing machine

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The Trend Spotter

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Popular Mechanics

Best budget pick for tall rowers

Pros
Portable
Long slide rail
Affordable

Cons
Not as durable
Small readout

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We ranked The Ergatta Rower #5 in October 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Home Gym

Pros
Natural, water resistance system
Unlimited resistance
Adjustable water level
Solid, cherry wood frame
500 lb weight limit
Stores vertically
17.3″ HD touchscreen display
4 different personalized workout pathways
Competitive, racing workouts
Workouts/pathways/community challenges added regularly
Bluetooth compatible
Heart rate monitor compatible
Professional assembly included with delivery
Good warranty

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Business Insider

The best interactive rowing machine

Pros
Motivating video game-inspired workout platform
beautiful design
features a folding design for easy stowing

Cons
Expensive

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SELF

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HiConsumption

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Verywell Fit

Best Design

Pros
Sleek, handcrafted design
Easy to move and store
Multiple features and workouts
Bluetooth compatibility

Cons
Expensive
Technology takes time to master

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We ranked WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine #6 in October 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
greatist

Best high weight capacity rowing machine

Pros
High weight capacity, easy to use, aesthetically pleasing design

Cons
Assembly requires power tools, resistance level difficult to change

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The Strategist

Expert-approved: A Pilates instructor’s favorite rowing machine

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Business Insider

The best water resistance rowing machine

Pros
Gorgeous appearance,
meditative whooshing sounds
simulation of open-water rowing sensations

Cons
Expensive
included monitor is fine but limited

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SELF

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Popular Mechanics

Best water-resistance rowing machine

Pros
Beautiful design
True water-based resistance

Cons
Not foldable

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We ranked Stamina ATS Air #7 in October 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Home Gym

Pros
Unlimited air resistance
Easy to assemble
Very affordable
Folds in half for storage
Built-in transport wheels make moving the rower easy
Decent warranty

Cons
Fairly low user weight capacity
Frame a little short

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HiConsumption

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Verywell Fit

Best Wind Resistance

Pros
Resistance naturally changes based on your intensity
Lightweight
Comfortable

Cons
Louder than other options

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Popular Mechanics

Best budget rowing machine

Pros
Affordable
Durable materials

Cons
No manual resistance options

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We ranked The Echelon Smart Rower #8 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Home Gym

Pros
Smooth magnetic resistance system
32 levels of resistance
Resistance adjusted conveniently from handlebars
300 lb weight capacity
Folding frame
Adjustable foot pedals
Easy assembly
Access to hundreds of on-demand workouts
Scenic rows
Tablet holder swivels

Cons
Short warranty

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greatist

Best magnetic resistance

Pros
Quiet, access to rowing and nonrowing classes with app subscription

Cons
Extra cost for app subscription, need to use your own tablet or smartphone

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Healthline

Best rowing machine with adjustable resistance levels

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We ranked Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower #9 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
greatist

Best for small spaces

Pros
Quiet, easy to store, comes with a heart rate monitor

Cons
Durability concerns from reviewers, hard to reach customer service

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HiConsumption

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Verywell Fit

Best Quiet

Pros
Solid construction
Easy to assemble
Quiet enough to use in a common area

Cons
Too small for tall people

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We ranked MaxKare Magnetic Tension #10 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Self editors’ pick

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SELF

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Healthline

Best rowing machine for beginners

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We ranked Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 #11 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
greatist

Best under $200

Pros
Compact, inexpensive, quiet

Cons
Not great for full-body workout

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Verywell Fit

Best Budget

Pros
Great for small spaces
Quiet
Easy to use

Cons
Changing resistance mid-workout isn't seamless

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We ranked ProForm 750R #12 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Trend Spotter

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HiConsumption

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Popular Mechanics

Best budget-friendly interactive rower

Pros
Affordable with streaming capabilities
Compact and foldable

Cons
Need separate device for streaming

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We ranked Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 #13 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Business Insider

The best budget rowing machine

Pros
Low price
independent arms for a full range of movement
ease of assembly and folding

Cons
Resistance declines as piston heats up during long rowing sessions
short warranty (90 days for parts/one year for frame)

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Healthline

Best rowing machine for small spaces

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We ranked Sunny Row-N-Ride #14 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
greatist

Best rowing machine for lower-body workouts

Pros
Easy to use, assemble, and store; great for lower-body workouts

Cons
Nontraditional rower, not a lot of resistance options

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Verywell Fit

Best for Small Spaces

Pros
Silent
Very small footprint
Secure design

Cons
Doesn't mimic a traditional rowing experience

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We ranked Stamina Conversion II #15 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
greatist

Best convertible

Pros
Adjusts to recumbent bike, easy to use

Cons
Seat can be uncomfortable for biking, difficult to assemble

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Verywell Fit

Best Recumbent

Pros
Great for users who need additional support
Convenient to fold and store
Two-in-one design

Cons
Doesn't mimic a traditional rowing experience

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We ranked Schwinn Crewmaster #16 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Healthline

Best rowing machine with an oversized seat

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The Trend Spotter

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We ranked Stamina 1215 #17 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Trend Spotter

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Verywell Fit

Best for Total-Body Workouts

Pros
Full range of motion for arms
Mimics rowing outdoors
Very compact

Cons
Challenging to assemble

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