Best Rowing Machines for 2021 – Buyers Guide and Reviews

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rowing machine reviews guide 2016

I write about stuff I think my readers like. When you buy through my links, I may get a commission.

Let me first tell you that:

If you are planning or wondering about buying a rowing machine, then-

Just do it & BUY one! 🙂

Why? Because rowing is considered as the best cardio and full body workout. That automates 9 major muscular groups.

So without further ado let’s get into this rowing machine reviews guide to make your first buy perfect.

If you are in a hurry and don’t want to go through the whole review. Just head over to the winning table-

But this is always a good approach to check out a review before buying anything expensive (especially online). Because too many promotional stuff around the internet can ruin your purchase.

We crafted this list of best rowing machines available to complement everyone’s need.

No matter if you are looking at it for your home gym or commercial gym.

Simply put- a rowing machine is one of the best equipment that you could try to get in shape. So without wasting much time, let’s dig out some real deals that suit your budget.

Top 10 Rowing Machines for Every Budget

Rowing Machine ModelResistance TypeMax user WeightWarranty 
concept2 model d indoor rowing machine review
Concept2 Model D
Air500 pounds5 years - frame
2 years - parts
Check Price
water rower natural row machines review
WaterRower Natural
Water1000 pounds5 years - frame
3 years - parts
Check Price
body craft vr500 review used rowing machine
BodyCraft VR500
Air + Magnetic350 pounds10 years - frame
2 years - parts
Check Price
Pro rower h2o rx 750 indoor rower review
ProRower H2O RX-750
Water350 poundsLifetime - frame
3 years - tank and seal
2 years - components
Check Price
velocity exercise chr 2001 rowing machine review
Velocity Exercise CHR 2001
Magnetic275 pounds5 years - frame
30 days - parts
Check Price
Lifespan fitness rw1000 best indoor rowing machine review
LifeSpan Fitness RW1000
Magnetic300 pounds5 years - frame
2 years - part
1 year - labor
Check Price
kettler favorit top 10 rowing machines review
Kettler Favorit
Hydraulic250 poundsLifetime - frame
3 years - parts
Check Price
stamina ats air rower 1399 best cheap rowing machine
Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399
Air250 pounds3 years - frame
90 days - parts
Check Price
stamina 1215 orbital rowing machine comparison
Stamina 1215 Orbital
Hydraulic250 pounds5 years - frame
90 days - parts
Check Price
stamina body trac glider 1050 best cheap home rowing machine for sale
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050
Hydraulic250 pounds1 year - frame
90 days - parts
Check Price

My Recommendation on Best Rowing Machines

Among the top 10 indoor rowers given above, we pick the top 4 machines to make your purchase even more specific and easy. So that you don’t get confused with the long list of rowing machines.

1. Concept2 Model D – Editor’s Pick

concept2 model d review - updated

When it comes to quality, Concept2 is among the top manufacturers of indoor rowers.

Concept2 Model D is the best selling indoor rowing machine all around the world. And we must say that this is the best indoor rower that your money can buy right now.

Key features of Concept2 Model D

Since it is at #1 position. It must have some unique features and benefits, and we enlist those feature here-

Live Rowing App:

The live rowing app enables you to compete with your friends online on a virtual boat race by hooking up with your rowing machine. Though Live Rowing is not an inbuilt feature of Concept2 Rowers.

It is in beta, so it only works with Concept2 Model D now. But they are expanding the connectivity with other available indoor rowers too. But as of now, it is well tested with Concept2 Rowers.

Check out the review of Live Rowing iOS app with Concept2 Model D.

Fly Wheel:

The flywheel keeps the noise generated by the machine low. The flywheel is designed, to reduce the noise and to smoothen the overall functioning of the machine.

Sliding Seat:

The seat in Concept2 Model D is low in the height of about 14 inches. Which makes it smooth and easy for the workout. The seat is adjustable to complement your height, even if you are too tall or too short.


It can be easily separated into two pieces for the proper handling and less storage space. Caster wheels introduced in this makes it easy to carry and mobile.

Performance Monitor:

It includes PM5 (Performance Monitor) upgrading from the previous PM3 model. The Performance Monitor gives you accurate and comparable data on each stroke. And the adjustable monitor arm makes it easy to operate and access from every position.

Adjustable Footrests:

Adjustable footrests in this model of Concept2 makes it easy to hold and enables you to gain traction over the machine quickly and smoothly.


The model D is covered under 5 years of frame warranty and 2 years warranty on PM (Performance Monitor) and other moving parts.

In short, the rower is perfect if you are willing to spend money on it, it can be coined as “you get what you pay for”.
  • Low Noise
  • Performance Monitor 5
  • 14-inch seat height
  • Nickel plated chain for long lasting
  • Stainless steel track for smooth functioning of seat
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Easy to carry- comparatively others
  • Requires footprint of 9 x 4 feet

Final Verdict for Concept2 Model D

If you want a sturdy indoor rowing machine, you should go with this model. But if you ready to shed some more money and want to experience the real water sensation from your machine then WaterRower Natural be the ultimate choice for you, which is next on the list.

2. WaterRower Natural – True Experience of Real Rowing

WaterRower Natural review

When it comes to the overall and real experience of true Rowing, WaterRowers are considered to be the best indoor rowers.

WaterRower mimics the original rowing experience because water rowers work on the mechanism of water resistance. Unlike the magnetic or air type of rowing machines, in these, the flywheel is enclosed in a water tank which provides smooth and quiet resistance during the workout.

If you want to enjoy the real experience of rowing but don’t want to go outside or you have the water phobia. Then this machine could be the ultimate choice for you.

Features offered in WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine


The flywheel is enclosed in a water tank to give a smooth and quiet functioning. The water enclosed flywheel replicates the original experience of outdoor rowing.

Series 4 Performance Monitor:

The S4 performance monitor is fairly large compared to other rowing machines. But the placement of the LCD monitor is not that much good as in Concept2 Model D because of its moving arm in Model D.

But the S4 monitor easily tracks the workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, distance, speed, and time. And there is also a unique feature in water rower that outweighed its minor complaints, and that feature is PC connectivity.

With this unique feature of PC connectivity, you can plug its monitor into your computer or laptop and watch a virtual boat along the water. You can race online or against your previous tracked sessions. This unique feature is top-notch because it motivates you to push yourself further and help you to get in shape. You can keep your training sessions stored in your PC via its software.


This Ashwood handcrafted rowing machine from WaterRowers looks premium and is designed to absorb sound and vibrations which provide smooth and quiet functioning of the machine.

Portability, Storage & Weight Capacity:

Dual rails with four corner wheels make it stand upright in a corner. Its weight capacity of 1000 pounds makes it best in its class rowing machine.


WaterRower natural comes with a 1-year warranty on its frame and components.

And can be upgraded to 5 years on frame and 3 years on components by just completion of a registration form.

  • Premium wooden look
  • The whoosh sound of water
  • LCD Monitor with PC connectivity
  • Comfortable seating position
  • 1000 pounds capacity
  • Monitor is hard to reach comparing to model D

Final Verdict for WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

If you are ready to shed some extra money for the true rowing experience and the whoosh sound of water then WaterRower natural is the ultimate choice.

 3. Stamina Avari

stamina avari rowing machine review

Want to save some money?


But, I am sure you won’t want o compromise on the quality of the machine, right?


Stamina Avari could be a great bargain.

Stamina Avari Rower is a comfortable and professional rowing machine that can save you money from excessive Gym charges. Stamina Avari is designed for relaxed sitting and high build quality.

To make the most out of your workout, Stamina Avari has 12 workout program including 6 cardio profiles, 1 manual, 4 custom user programs, and 1 heart rate program. The machine is designed to replicate the natural movement of rowing. And sometimes it feels like you are driving a scooter.

Rowing machines are used for their variety of health benefits like cardiovascular, muscle strength, lungs improvement, and weight loss purposes. And this professional indoor rower from Avari does its job quite well.

Stamina Avari Features


Its fitness monitor motivates you to row regularly by keep tracking the time, count, distance, watts, strokes per minute, calories, and pulse count. The LCD backlit fitness monitor is immovable and fixed just in front of the rower.

Use the Up/ Down keys on the In Touch Fitness Monitor to adjust the speed of rowing, workout time, and resistance on the flywheels.

Heart Belt:

The machine includes a chest strap that can be used for accurate readings during heart rate programs. The belt is provided to know the limit of your endurance.

Aluminum Track:

Unlike the stainless steel track in Concept2 Model D. Stamina Avari equipped with an aluminum track which is also capable of providing a smooth functioning.

Smooth and Silent:

The magnetic type resistance given in Avari Stamina assures the smooth and silent gliding. At the same time gives the sensation of natural rowing.


Portability is the primary concern with any machine, and Stamina Avari can dismantle into three part for easy carry.


Stamina Avari rowing machine comes with 3 years warranty on frame and 90 days warranty on parts.

  • Magnetic type resistance for smooth and silent functioning
  • Heart belt for heart rate monitoring
  • In touch fitness Monitor
  • User weight limits 275 lbs
  • Affordable
  • Solid build quality
  • LCD backlit display
  • Portable
  • As reported seat quality is not good enough for the long duration.

Final Verdict for Stamina Avari Indoor Rowing Machine

If you really want to experience the rowing but don’t have the budget for Concept2 Model D. Then Stamina Avari could be a good choice. And the magnetic type resistance has done a really good job both in terms of smoothness or high resistance.

I create this helpful resource for you, to make your decision perfect and regret free. Because many other rowing machines’ reviews out there on the internet are somewhat biased or too old to consider.

So if you find your machine from here, or found this resource helpful; do share it with your friends.


Anam Shabista is a writer, blogger, aspiring chartered accountant, and author at RowingFeed.