The Best Rowing Machine for Home: Our Top 6 Picks

Bri Hand

If you want to invest in a rowing machine for your home, we’re here to help! 

There’s so much to consider when buying a rowing machine, especially for indoor rowing beginners. Common questions to keep in mind if you’re going to purchase the best rowing machine for you include:

  • What type of resistance should you shop for? 

  • Do you want a rowing machine with memberships and workout programs? 

  • Do you need a rowing machine that can be stored in small spaces? 

Don’t know where to start with indoor rowing machine shopping? You’ve come to the right place! This guide will fully review the best rowers on the market today and walk you through top rowing machine pros and cons so you can be sure you’re purchasing the best rower for you. 

Let’s get started!

The best rowing machine for home: Our top picks 

  1. Best Overall Rower: Hydrow Rower ($2,495)

  2. Best Runner-Up Rower: Concept2 RowERG Model D Indoor Rower ($990) 

  3. Best Budget Rower: Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine ($259.98) 

  4. Best Design: Ergatta Rower ($2,249)

  5. Best Compact Rower: Hydrow Wave Rower ($1,895)

Best overall: Hydrow Rower 

Pros and cons 



Membership provides access to over 4,000 classes and workout routines from Olympic and expert Athletes

22" touchscreen display pivots for use with both rowing machine and on-the-mat workouts

Bluetooth connectivity for headphone and heart monitor use

Hydrow rowing machine can be easily stored with Hydrow Rower Upright Storage Kit

The patented electromagnetic drag mechanics simulates real rowing with smooth and silent operation

Expensive for some users

Requires paid membership for full Hydrow experience 

About the Hydrow Rower 

When shopping for the best home rowing machine, the Hydrow Rower is a magnetic rowing machine at the top of our list.

This rowing machine is beautiful and powerful, built with a sleek steel and aluminum frame. Users love the Hydrow for its quiet magnetic resistance mechanism that closely stimulates the real feeling of water resistance rowing. Its ergonomically designed seat and foot pedals promise comfort while in use. And best of all, the Hydrow rower can easily be stored upright between uses.

The feature that makes the Hydrow shine for home use is the Hydrow membership (though users can use the Hydrow without it). This rowing machine has a 22" touchscreen display that gives users access to an impressive library of over 4,000 workouts and exercises with Hydrow membership access. 

It's all the excitement of a gym class right from your own home. Users can engage in various workouts, from just-row mode to beautiful scenic waterway visuals, instructor-led classes, live leaderboards, and racing challenges. Hydrow memberships also provide circuit training and on-the-mat workouts like strength, mobility, yoga and pilates, giving users even more opportunities for exercise. 

There's a ton to love about this rowing machine, from its beautiful design to its impressive library of workouts. If you want to invest in a rowing machine that will last, we can't recommend the Hydrow enough. 

Hydrow Rower specs

  • Resistance Type: Magnetic resistance

  • Display Screen: 22” touchscreen display

  • Product Dimensions: 86"L x 25"W x 47"H

  • Product Weight: 145 lbs; 197 lbs boxed

  • Product Weight Capacity: 375 lbs

Is membership required? No, you can use Hydrow in “Just Row” mode without a membership. However, memberships can be purchased to access additional features starting at $44/mo. 

Price: $2,495

Best runner-up: Concept2 RowERG Model D Indoor Rower

Pros and cons



Includes preset workouts (Ex: Distance workouts, timed workouts, interval challenges)

The rowing machine can separate into parts in between uses for small space storage

Can connect with the ErgData app to track workouts and health stats (Ex: heart rate tracking)

Air-resistant flywheel promises smooth and quiet operation during workouts

Covered by a limited five-year warranty

Requires more maintenance than other rowers (Chain must be oiled every 40 hours of use) 

Not as high-tech as more expensive rowers 

About the Concept2 RowERG (Model D)

Looking for an air rowing machine? The Concept 2 Model D Air Rower is on the top of many rowing machine enthusiasts' lists.

This rowing machine has all the basics you’d want to find in an at-home air-resistance rower. Its small LCD display gives you access to preset workouts and games and stores health data like calories burned and distance rowed. Users enjoy its air-resistance flywheel design, which provides a smooth, quiet rowing operation. While other air rowing machines can generate noise, users of the Model D note that this machine is particularly quiet. 

You can settle in for a great workout thanks to adjustable footrests, a comfortable seat, and ergonomically designed handles. This rower can also be separated into parts to store in small spaces between uses, a must-have for those with small home workout spaces. 

But what about the negatives? The big downside to this rower is the lack of tech compared to its competitors. It has a screen with access to some timed workouts and games, but they are limited compared to Hydrow’s beautiful scenic rowing videos, instructor-led classes, live leaderboards, and racing challengers. 

Concept2 RowERG specs 

  • Resistance Type: Air resistance 

  • Display Screen: Backlit LCD display

  • Product Dimensions: 24" D x 96" w x 14" H

  • Product Weight: 57 lbs 

  • Product Weight Capacity: 500 lbs 

Is membership required? No membership required 

Price: $990

Best budget: Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine 

Pros and cons 



Extremely affordable in price, coming in under $300 

Uses near-silent magnetic resistance mechanism, with 16 resistance levels for challenging workouts 

Equipped with transport wheels, making it easy to move the machine around your home or gym

The machine is foldable in design, the best for home storage 

Not as high-tech, with no video screen or virtual class access

Not as high quality as other rowers on the list

Shorter slide rail than other machines

About the Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine 

Some shopping for an indoor rowing machine might be just looking for something that covers the basics to save money on their tight budget. In that case, we think you need to look at this compact folding rowing machine from Sunny Health & Fitness. 

Good for small spaces, it weighs just 50 pounds and can fold for storage between use. This magnetic rower has a digital monitor displacing workout stats like time, row counts, and burned calories. It also has a comfortable and wide padded seat, comfortable foot holds, and ergonomic non-slip handles, along with a water bottle holder and a small device/tablet holder, so you can watch a screen as you row. 

It’s also the lowest in price, coming in at $259. However, this smaller size does mean a smaller slide rail, which can make this machine troublesome for users who need more legroom. It also gives it a lower overall weight capacity. 

Despite the shortcomings, this machine still provides everything you need for a standard rowing machine workout, which is great for those who want a magnetic rower that doesn't break the bank. Unfortunately, many of the tech features that can help motivate you to do more rowing workouts would not be available on this machine.

Sunny Health & Fitness Compact Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine specs 

  • Resistance Type: Magnetic resistance 

  • Display Screen: Small digital monitor 

  • Product Dimensions: 77L X 23W X 22.5H In

  • Product Weight: 49.6 lbs 

  • Product Weight Capacity: 285 lbs

Is membership required? No membership required

Price: $259.98

Best design: Ergatta Rower ($2,249)

Pros and cons 



Beautiful and unique design made of cherry wood 

Fun gamified workouts on the Ergatta platform with live leaderboards motivate users to compete and improve

Water resistance rowing mechanism with a tank that’s easy to fill and maintain

Ergatta can be stood upright for vertical storage 

Need to pay a monthly membership to access classes and games

Some users say footplates are too narrow and not suited to all users

About the Ergatta Rower

The Ergatta Rower is a water-resistance rowing machine unique in its design, perfect for those who want a stylish addition to their home gym.

Unlike the other metal rowers on our list, the Ergatta Rower is made of cherrywood, equipped with a well-designed wide seat, strapped footholds, and a comfy handlebar. We should note some users find these footholds a bit close together, which is not good for users with larger legs.

The Ergatta also has some membership options and tech features, though they are limited compared to competitors like the Hydrow. It has a 17.3-inch HD touchscreen, and with a paid membership, users can access a library of game-based workouts. These include racing games, target-hitting games, or even scenic views for free rowing. 

Ergatta is limited to just these rowing games and scenic views. Unfortunately, you will not find instructor-led classes here, nor additional mat workouts like those offered by Hydrow. Instead, Ergatta aims to get you competitive, motivated by beating games and climbing leaderboards to improve performance. 

The Ergatta can be folded upright for vertical storage, but users point out that its weight and design make it a little more difficult to move. This rower has a traditional water tank for resistance, which causes the machine to weigh 105 pounds once filled. Along with making the machine heavier and harder to move, the water tank also requires yearly filtering maintenance not found on other devices.

Despite the drawbacks, it can still make a beautiful addition to any home gym and promises a fun workout for rowers.

Ergatta Rower specs 

  • Resistance Type: Water resistance 

  • Display Screen: 17.3 inch HD touchscreen

  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 ft. x 1.9 ft.

  • Product Weight: 76.5 lbs (105 lbs with water tank filled) 

  • Product Weight Capacity: 500 lbs

Is membership required? No, you can use it without a membership. However, to access the library of games and leaderboards, you need a paid membership priced at $29/mo.

Price: The machine on its own starts at $2,249 

Best compact rowing machine: Hydrow Wave Rower ($1,985)

Pros and cons 



Hydrow Membership gives users access to 4,000+ rowing workout regimens, on-the-mat exercises, and more from expert athletes, shown on a 16” display 

Available in a range of different colors (black, blue, green, yellow, red) 

Hydrow Wave rower is designed for small storage, 30% smaller than the original Hydrow and able to store vertically

Hydrow’s electromagnetic drag mechanics feel like real rowing with a smooth and silent operation

Smaller, compact design not suited to all users

Vertical storage anchors are sold separately 

About the Hydrow Wave

Those looking for the perfect compact rower need to look no further than the Hydrow Wave. 

This compact take on the original Hydrow Row comes in 30% smaller overall. It features a smaller screen (16”, compared to the original Hydrow’s 22”), a smaller body, and is better equipped for vertical storage. All you need to do is purchase the Hydrow Wave Vertical Anchor, sold separately, making it easy to store in smaller home workout spaces.

Like the Hydrow, the Hydrow Wave offers a smooth, silent ride with electromagnetic resistance that closely simulates the feeling of real water rowing. It also provides access to Hydrow’s massive library of content. With a Hydrow membership, Hydrow Wave users can access over 4,000 pieces of workout content, including guided rowing workouts, mat exercises like yoga and pilates, and scenic rowing views of some of the world’s most beautiful waterways.

This machine is a great choice for buyers who may want to explore the Hydrow but at a cheaper price and smaller size. It is also a good pick if you are concerned about space in a home gym setup. This rower is another powerful Hydrow product, perfect for beginner or professional rowers alike. 

Hydrow Wave specs

  • Resistance Type: Electromagnetic resistance

  • Display Screen: 16” HD Screen

  • Product Dimensions: 80″L x 19″W x 43″H

  • Product Weight: 102 lbs; 128 lbs boxed

  • Product Weight Capacity: 375 lbs

Is membership required? No, all Hydrow rowers can be used membership free when in “Just Row” mode. Memberships can be purchased at $44/mo to access additional content. 

Price: $1,895

How to choose the best indoor rowing machine for home

When shopping for an indoor rowing machine, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind, especially if you want to ensure you buy a machine best suited for your space and workout style. 

Everything, from your budget to your workout space size, will affect which machine is best for you. 

Here are the features you need to remember when buying the best rowing machine for your home.  

Types of rowing machines

Before buying any rowing machine, you should familiarize yourself with the different kinds of rowers out there. 

The type of resistance mechanism on a machine will vary, but the three most common types you’ll encounter are air resistance, water resistance, and magnetic resistance. Each offers its own benefits and drawbacks regarding noise level, maintenance, and how closely it simulates real water rowing. 

Air resistance

An air rowing machine is a popular kind of machine. They produce drag using an internal flywheel mechanism connected to a chain inside the machine. As the flywheel rotates, resistance is generated, simulating the feel of rowing through the water. People love air resistance for its smooth mechanism and lack of wear on machines, though it can be noisier than other kinds of rowers. 

Water resistance

Water rowers are rowing machines equipped with a water tank. These machines also use flywheels, but they are inside a water tank. As you pull your rower handles, you pull this wheel in water, generating resistance that replicates the feel of real water rowing. While water-resistant tanks require more maintenance (filling and cleaning the tank), they are loved for being quiet, smooth, and most closely simulating real water rowing. 

Magnetic resistance

Magnetic rowing machines are another popular choice, as they are the quietest mode of operation on the list. These rowers work by putting distance between magnets and spinning a flywheel inside the device. People love magnetic resistance as it is super quiet (in some cases, silent), has a wide range of resistance levels, and requires the least amount of maintenance. 

Machine size and storage

The size of your machine, and its storage capabilities, are especially important for home workout rower equipment. 

Due to the nature of their design, most rowing machines will take up a good amount of space. However, many models available today can now be folded down or stored in different ways, making it easier to have them at home. Be sure to pay close attention to the dimensions of the rower you're interested in and the space available in your home. 

Foot pedals, seat, and handle

If you want to row for long periods of time, comfort will be essential. When shopping for any rowing machine, paying attention to the comfort and design of your seat, its handle, and the foot pedals is important.

You’ll want to ensure your seat is a padded, ergonomic seat at the right distance from the ground so you can sit in proper form. Paying attention to the rowing machine's handle and material is also important. Look for handles that promise a good grip and a comfortable hold. 

What we think is most important to consider are your footholds. You’ll want to ensure the footholds on your rowing machine are large enough to fit your foot. You’ll also want them to have an easy-to-adjust strap to keep your feet secure during use. This can make a big difference in your workout while using the machine. 

Additional memberships

You should also pay close attention to the price of memberships if included with your rower. 

While many rowing machines can be used independently, some options come with memberships. Machines like the Hydrow have huge libraries of instructor-led classes and workouts that can be accessed with a monthly membership fee. 

These memberships might not be worth the price for some, but for others, they can bring a lot to their home workout experience, especially for beginners, who can use these classes as a resource to improve their form, learn from instructors, and get the most out of their equipment.

Machine quality and durability

When investing in a rowing machine for home, you’ll want to make sure it can stand the test of time! There’s no use dropping hundreds of dollars on equipment if it isn’t built to last. 

Spending a little more on a piece of home workout equipment can be worth the investment to ensure it’s from a brand you can trust. Try to look for units that come with warranties and pay attention to user reviews for insight into the durability of a machine. With the proper investment, your home rowing machine can last a lifetime.

Price range

As with any piece of workout equipment, a big consideration for any shopper is going to be their budget.

Rowing machines can come at a high price point, though plenty of affordable options exist on the market. Be prepared to be willing to compromise on some of your ideal features if you don't have the budget. For example, rowing machines with screens and memberships will cost you thousands of dollars, whereas rowing machines without those features may only cost a couple hundred dollars.

What are the benefits of using a rowing machine? 

Why use a rowing machine, anyway? For the amazing health benefits they can bring! Harvard Health tells us that rowing machines provide a nearly full-body workout more than any other. Their ability to give you a cardio workout while engaging the back, arms, and legs all at once is hard to beat. 

More health benefits of rowing machines include:

  • Rowing machines are good cardio, engaging the heart 

  • Rowing machines engage the whole body during use, working 86% of your body’s muscles in a single stroke. 

  • The act of rowing is low-impact, making it an exercise that is easy on joints

  • Regular rowing can improve posture over time

  • As a low-impact, high-engagement exercise, rowing machines are great for workout warm-ups 

  • Rowing machines are good for muscle building, targeting nine muscle groups 

  • Regular exercise with devices like rowing machines can improve your mood with an endorphin high 

Rowing machine FAQ

Still have questions? Here are what people commonly ask about rowing machines: 

What type of rowing machine is best to use at home?

The best rowing machine for your home will depend on several factors. However, we recommend prioritizing a high-quality machine with compact storage options for use in a home gym.

Are rowing machines expensive? 

Rowing machines can cost anywhere from $100 to $3,000, depending on the brand, design, and additional features included. 

What muscles do rowing machines target?

Rowing machines work out nine different muscle groups, targeting around 85% of the muscles in your body, according to Men’s Health. They’re perfect for achieving a full-body workout. 

Shop rowers today at Hydrow

We hope you enjoyed exploring some of the best rowing machines for your home on our list! A rowing machine is an amazing investment for any home gym, with many benefits when engaging in rowing machine workouts. We hope this guide encourages you to get curious, invest in your own machine, and see all the amazing things rowing can bring into your life.

We have some incredible rowing machines with Hydrow, perfect for beginner and intermediate rowers. If you’d like to shop rowers at Hydrow, click here to explore the Hydrow and Hydrow Wave

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Hydrow's Content Marketing Manager and enjoys writing, singing, kayaking, and Zumba!