May 2022

Rowing Machines: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Rowing Machine rankings posted by key online experts, as of May 2022.

At a glance - May 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Rowing Machine
The Strategist
SELF
Healthline
The Home Gym
greatist
The Trend Spotter
Business Insider
Popular Mechanics
HiConsumption
Verywell Fit
1
- Check price
Hydrow Connected Rower
3
1
-
1
2
-
4
1
10
1
2
- $919
Concept2 RowErg
1
4
1
-
7
5
1
2
4
-
3
- $1350
NordicTrack RW900
4
9
6
4
3
-
5
4
8
-
4
- $241
Sunny Health SF-RW5515
6
3
2
-
-
14
7
3
-
-
5
- Check price
The Ergatta Rower
-
6
-
2
-
-
3
-
9
8
6
- $1160
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine
2
10
-
-
8
-
6
8
-
-
7
- $1000
The Echelon Smart Rower
-
14
3
8
10
-
-
-
-
-
8
- $299
Stamina ATS Air
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
6
2
9
9
- $390
Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
3
3
10
- $129
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
2
11
+1 $1068
ProForm 750R
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
5
6
-
12
-1 Check price
MaxKare Magnetic Tension
5
5
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
13
- $229
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus
-
15
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
14
- $161
Stamina Trac Glider 1050
-
-
4
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
15
- $110
Sunny Row-N-Ride
-
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
6
16
- $669
Stamina Conversion II
-
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
-
5
17
+2 $363
Stamina 1215
-
-
-
-
-
15
-
-
-
4
18
- $988
Schwinn Crewmaster
-
-
7
-
-
18
-
-
-
-
19
-2 $449
Sunny Health Obsidian Surge
7
12
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

We ranked Hydrow Connected Rower #1 in May 2022 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
  • Out of those, 4 experts ranked Hydrow Connected Rower as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

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

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SELF

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The Home Gym

Best Overall Rower

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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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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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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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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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We ranked Concept2 RowErg #2 in May 2022 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
  • Out of those, 3 experts ranked Concept2 RowErg as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Snooping: Jason Statham’s rowing machine

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SELF

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Healthline

Best overall rowing machine

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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 Trend Spotter

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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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Popular Mechanics

Most Reliable

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

Cons
Monitor is very basic

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HiConsumption

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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 May 2022 ranking

We ranked NordicTrack RW900 #3 in May 2022 because:

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

Men’s Health editors’ pick

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SELF

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Healthline

Best high tech rowing machine

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The Home Gym

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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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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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Popular Mechanics

Best Resistance Options

Pros
Large, full-color touchscreen
Membership-based group classes
Manual and air-resistance options

Cons
Expensive
Servicing and support questionable

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HiConsumption

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We ranked Sunny Health SF-RW5515 #4 in May 2022 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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SELF

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Healthline

Best budget rowing machine

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The Trend Spotter

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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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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 May 2022 because:

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

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The Home Gym

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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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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 May 2022 because:

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

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

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SELF

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greatist

Best high weight capacity

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

Cons
Assembly requires power tools, resistance level difficult to change

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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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Popular Mechanics

Best Water-Resistance Rowing Machine

Pros
Beautiful design
True water-based resistance

Cons
Not foldable

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We ranked The Echelon Smart Rower #7 in May 2022 because:

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

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Healthline

Best rowing machine with adjustable resistance levels

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The Home Gym

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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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We ranked Stamina ATS Air #8 in May 2022 because:

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

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Popular Mechanics

Best Budget Rowing Machine

Pros
Affordable
Durable materials

Cons
No manual resistance options

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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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We ranked Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower #9 in May 2022 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 Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 #10 in May 2022 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 #11 in May 2022 because:

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

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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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HiConsumption

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We ranked MaxKare Magnetic Tension #12 in May 2022 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 Fitness Reality 1000 Plus #13 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Rowing Machines” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Fitness Reality 1000 Plus as #1.
Critic endorsements:
SELF

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The Trend Spotter

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We ranked Stamina Trac Glider 1050 #14 in May 2022 because:

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

Best rowing machine for small spaces

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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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We ranked Sunny Row-N-Ride #15 in May 2022 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 #16 in May 2022 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 Stamina 1215 #17 in May 2022 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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We ranked Schwinn Crewmaster #18 in May 2022 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 Sunny Health Obsidian Surge #19 in May 2022 because:

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

People’s Choice: Best water rowing machine on Amazon

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SELF

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