people's choice

The Best Rowing Machines on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

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Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written before about other home exercise equipment, like treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals, here we’ve rounded up the best-reviewed rowing machines on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best water rowing machines

WaterRower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood With S4 Monitor

“It’s amazing. I’m picky about my decorating and hate the way workout equipment looks. But the quality and good looks of this rower makes me proud to put it in my bedroom. Friends have commented that it looks like a piece of furniture. Rowing is easy on the joints and gives me a full-body workout. I feel like in the few short weeks I’ve owned it, my body is more toned and I feel stronger. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed in this machine.”

WaterRower Rowing Machine Driftwood With Patented Water Flywheel

“What a great machine. My wife and I have never been gym rats; it’s just not how we choose to work out. We have a very decent treadmill, but have never been drawn to using it consistently. This rower is amazing. So effortless to use and still get a great workout. There is something Zen about the sound of the water as you complete each stroke. I’m drawn to work out every day, just for those 30 minutes of solitude.”

Best air rowing machines

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

“Upon receiving the unit, my son and I had it out of the box, set up, and operating in just 15 minutes. Outstanding design. Simply one of the easiest to assemble pieces of exercise equipment I have ever used. What immediately strikes you about it is how well-made it looks and feels. Every piece of this device is best in class. Other rowers just don’t compare. The Concept2 is a Tesla among Yugos when it comes to air-resistance rowers. Everything from the manuals to the box it came in screams quality. You are getting your money’s worth, and that feels good in this day and age.”

Stamina ATS Air Rower

“This is an excellent rower, especially at this price point. The Stamina Air Rower definitely gets my heart rate elevated and provides a very good leg workout, so long as you row using the proper technique. The resistance is excellent. There is no damper to control the air flow, but as with all air rowers, you can increase the resistance by rowing harder.”

Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine

“This is one of our best choices in fitness equipment and worth every penny spent. Assembly was fast and easy. We thought it might sit too high, but it is actually nice not having to lower yourself all the way to the ground to use the machine. The seat and row bar move smoothly. I can’t think of anything that I don’t like about this equipment. It offers a full-body workout and makes it fun to boot.”

Best magnetic rowing machines

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower

“I have been using the Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower for over a month now. I am extremely happy with the product. One thing I think everyone will like is how quiet it is! Since resistance is determined by a magnetic setup, it is crazy quiet. I could be rowing in my bedroom and most likely not wake my wife. I really like the preprogrammed ‘courses’ — it offers variety without having to spend a ton of time trying to program it yourself. They also allow for on-the-fly adjustments in difficulty.”

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine With LCD Monitor

“This is a good, solid rowing machine. I’m amazed that this unit functions very smoothly and quietly — and it gives a great workout. It feels stable and solid — not rickety at all. I checked out all of the electronics/counters and resistance controls, and they all function perfectly. The cosmetics are fine, too. I’m pleased with it — especially at this price, and recommend it to anyone who is looking to get a good cardio workout at home.”

Best rowing machine under $100

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

“I bought this machine as an affordable addition to my home gym. It came mostly preassembled, and the rest of the assembling was very simple and quick to do. The machine itself is a great workout on my abs and arms on the higher intensity levels. The computer is a neat way to track how many times you’ve rowed, but definitely avoid the calorie portion because it highly overestimates how many calories you’re burning. Overall, it is very useful and a great addition to my gym.”

Best rowing machines under $200

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

“For the price, this is a great machine. I row in a regular shell on the local lake in good weather, and use this to keep in practice during the winter. The oars are set up so that they mimic the natural action on the water, which allows me to keep my form in a way that many machines don’t. It also allows for a great range of motion to change up workouts by varying your hold on the oars. Putting it together was a bit of a hassle but not terrible. It’s quiet enough to use while watching TV or holding a conversation.”

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine

“I’ve wanted to try a rowing machine for a while now but didn’t want to spend a fortune and needed one that would support my weight. This machine fit the bill on both scores. Assembly was easy, and the machine is solid, sturdy, and seems to be very well constructed. It works like a charm, too! I am not an avid exerciser but took to the rowing machine like I’d been out in actual rowboats all my life. The ability to change resistance is a nice feature, and I felt like I got a good workout while using the machine.”

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The Best Rowing Machines on Amazon, According to Reviewers