The best rowing machines consumer reports

According to consumer reports (CR), if you are looking for the best rowing machine as of 2022, following expert recommendations is a rule of thumb unless you‘re familiar with identifying the best one. For most people who lack insight into identifying a good rowing machine, this article will help you. Meanwhile, in this discussion, you’ll learn about our top 10 rowing machines from the consumer reports list and other relevant information. Moreover, their reviews, pros, cons, and features are detailed exclusively to guide you.

10 of the best rowing machines consumer reports

Rowing machines are popular because they’re excellent for a full-body workout, helpful for the core and glutes, and best for working on large muscles suited in the lower and upper regions. Rowing doesn’t lead to sore muscles and equally improves posture, making it suitable for those looking for an excellent body structure. The health benefits could tempt you to invest in one, especially if you love to be fit; you don’t need to be an athlete. Besides, many households in the United States have a rower in their exercise lounge, making it easier to do some fitness work in the morning instead of going to the gym centers. 

Therefore, reading this article will help you with the right option for a high-quality rowing machine at an affordable budget.

Product Name
Concept2 Model D
Sunny Health & Fitness Rower
NordicTrack Smart Rower
Teeter Power10 Rower
SNODE Water Rowing Machine
Image
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5...
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine...
NordicTrack RW600 Smart Rower with 10” HD...
Teeter Power10 Rower with 2-Way Magnetic...
SNODE Water Rowing Machine with Bluetooth, Rowing...
Resistance Type
Air-based
Magnetic
Digital Magnetic
Magnetic
Water-based
Max. user weight
500 pounds
250 pounds
250 pounds
N/A
331 Pounds
LCD display
Users reviews
-
-
-
-
-
Price
$1,201.00
$249.99
Price not available
$1,049.00
$382.50
Product Name
Concept2 Model D
Image
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5...
Resistance Type
Air-based
Max. user weight
500 pounds
LCD display
Users reviews
-
Price
$1,201.00
Vendor
Product Name
Sunny Health & Fitness Rower
Image
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine...
Resistance Type
Magnetic
Max. user weight
250 pounds
LCD display
Users reviews
-
Price
$249.99
Vendor
Product Name
NordicTrack Smart Rower
Image
NordicTrack RW600 Smart Rower with 10” HD...
Resistance Type
Digital Magnetic
Max. user weight
250 pounds
LCD display
Users reviews
-
Price
Price not available
Vendor
Product Name
Teeter Power10 Rower
Image
Teeter Power10 Rower with 2-Way Magnetic...
Resistance Type
Magnetic
Max. user weight
N/A
LCD display
Users reviews
-
Price
$1,049.00
Vendor
Product Name
SNODE Water Rowing Machine
Image
SNODE Water Rowing Machine with Bluetooth, Rowing...
Resistance Type
Water-based
Max. user weight
331 Pounds
LCD display
Users reviews
-
Price
$382.50
Vendor

10 of the best rowing machines consumer reports

1. Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine

The concept2 Model D is a low-impact rowing machine designed to target legs, arms, and core muscles, keeping you toned while burning calories that cause your muscles to look deformed. Findings show that users can track progress in real-time while having up-to-date performance information about their workout. More so, the Concept 2 rowing machine comes with a fourteen-inch seat that fits most users and an adjustable foot resting part, including an ergonomic handle. Storage after use is easy; the design can be separated into two parts. There are also castor wheels for easy mobility. Most relevantly, concept2 accommodates up to 500 pounds because it’s built with high-strength materials. 

Specs

  • Progress tracker 
  • Caster wheels
  • 500 pounds max. weight  
  • 14-inch seat
  • LCD with backlit display  
  • Adjustable footrests 
  • Phone holder 
  • User’s manual
  • Five years frame warranty 

Consumer reports

Belly said best for those living in an apartment, as it is not too bulky. Ultimately, it rides like Cadillac, a smooth and quiet operation. Every morning the buyer runs a 15 minutes training using the concept2, no more packing bags, and going to the gym in the morning again. It is also a quality machine and would last for years: a verified review since 2017.   

Due to the lockdown in 2020, Ed S Sichel purchased the concept2 model D for indoor exercising. The Model D supports his weight of 400lbs and uses it 20 minutes almost every day, with no issues ever. The good news, within a month of using it concept2, he lost nearly 24 pounds of weight. Meaning more progress can lead to more weight loss. 

There’re so many consumer reports base reviews about the concept2 model D fitness equipment but couldn’t cover all. However, you read them on the product page. 

2. Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine Rower

Opting for the Sunny brand is another excellent option engineered for row and ride exercise. Information gathered from consumer reports and  verified user reviews of about fifty thousand (15,000) indicate that Sunny health and fitness is perfect for rowing. 

The basic features include an LCD showing the time, calories, and scan mode, which display progress over time, helping you track fitness goals. This means you’re not just exercising but also getting feedback on how far you’ve gone. 

With the extra-long sliding rail measuring about 48 inches, this rower will be able to accommodate nearly all sizes of individuals. While the previous one (concept2) can hold users’ weight of 500 pounds, this SF-RW5515 is designed to 250lbs. Though it is not as pricey as the concept2 machine, and if your weight is not more than the specified, there isn’t a need to pick the Concept2 because that’s an extra cost. 

More so, Sunny fitness health comes with eight adjustable magnetic resistance. Therefore, you can increase or decrease the level depending on the workout challenge desired. Transporting wheels are also available, and anti-slippery pedals ensure your foot is not hurt and safe. 

Specs

  • Digital monitor 
  • 250lbs user capacity 
  • Non-slippery foot pedals 
  • 8 resistance magnetic levels 

Consumer reports

Ramona vehemently said, I’ll confidently repurchase it, and that’s coming from him after the first purchase. He was looking forward to maintaining a BMI 24.9pound which was achieved via the Sunny rowing machine.    

On the flip side, L. Rollins says there is no way to track meters rowed. So far, time, calories, and strokes can be tracked. Also, the monitoring screen is relatively tiny to view, especially for those who may not have a good sight. 

Nevertheless, if you think this rower is ideal, ensure to weigh all of the features, pros, and cons we’ve related before deciding upon. 

3. NordicTrack Smart Rower

The Nordictrack is unbeatable when it comes to rowing machine comparison. The maker is a top renowned brand in fitness equipment innovation. Though this rw600 is on the high budget side, its value speaks about how robust the features to access while rowing. Even the senior brother rw900 is more expensive, and I wouldn’t advise choosing it if you only need a simple rowing machine for home use unless you’re a die-hard fitness lover. 

The 30-day iFit family membership attached to this offer will let you access workout tutorials to quickly engage, suitable for beginners. On purchase, you’ll access ten years peace of mind frame warranty, one-year labor warranty, and two years on part. Following the manufacturer’s weight requirement, we recommend the NordicTrack rw600 for individuals whose weight is not exceeding 250 pounds.  

Specs

  • 30 day ifit membership 
  • Ideal for 250pounds individual 
  • It has twenty-six digital resistance level 
  • Interactive 10-inch HD touchscreen 
  • Space-saving design 
  • Compatible with Bluetooth headphone 

Aside from the price, the rw600 is a complete rowing power designed for core rowers’ fellows. From the ifit studio, you can stream live workouts to participate via the HD screen. Thousands of people benefit from the ifit training experience platform. As such, you can uplift your activity to the next level.  

4. Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine

This is another option ideal for leg exercises arm, shoulder, and butt workouts. Among the rowers shortlisted, one of the cheapest costs only $300+, but that doesn’t mean it’s wacky. 

The pedals can be flipped to provide stability when toning your shoulder, arms, and others during the workout. 

Ultimately, up to 14 resistance levels to choose from. Therefore, beginners to professional rowers would find the levels helpful. Go from easy level-one or challenging at 14. 

Rowing shouldn’t stop you from watching TV or listening to music, and this is what you’re going to be enjoying. The rower nylon belt driving runs ultra-quietly. 

Training analytics is viewable from the myCloundFitness app, available for iOS and Android users. You can view stroke per minute, total count, calories, and your distance. 

Specs

  • Not expensive 
  • MyCloudFitness app
  • Visual screen display 
  • Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Max. weight 250 pounds 
  • Ultra-quiet belt drive system 

Our evaluation of this rower is perfect for low-profile rowing demand. Nothing is lacking; Bluetooth, LCD, fitness training classes such as yoga, cycling, and body weight exercise are available in the mycloudfitness app to boost your training, including tablet holder amidst other reputable features. 

5. Teeter power10 elliptical rower

The Teeter rower has constantly been compared with concept2 because of its distinctive features. Most rowing machines in the market come with a mono-directional resistance, but the Teeter comes with bi-directional to help you engage more muscles. 

From the image, you can see the two resistance at both sides, and this lets you swap from a pull motion to push, thereby targeting particular groups of muscles. The Teeter is perfect for both the upper and lower body, allowing for complete toning of the body and promoting blood circulation. 

There is no other better cardio rowing machine that beat the performance of the power10 elliptical rower. You will get more calories as you use the 2-way resistance while selecting from the seven levels (lower to more complex resistance). 

The versatile adjustment makes it for a wide range of users. For instance, the seat allows for adjustment to accommodate the individual height. Users can also adjust the stroke length alongside the spring-loaded knob to enhance core engagement. 

Besides, there is no limit to your real-time performance tracking. Track virtually any statistics, the digital monitor delivers accurate data. There is also a Bluetooth heart rate chest strap for monitoring heart rate. 

Specs

  • 2 –way magnetic resistance
  • Free personal training app 
  • Customize your workout 
  • Space-saving and easy storage 

Consumer reports

According to Jason, the “beast of a machine” is because it’s doing its jobs optimally. That came from that buyer in July 2020.  

G. L. Brown was also happy to unveil the teeter power10 elliptical machine.  

So far, this rowing equipment is a tested and certified machine. It’s safe, most importantly. Nevertheless, it’s not as cheap as you may have thought, but you won’t be disappointed on arrival. 

6. SNODE Water Rowing Machine

If you’re looking for a water rowing machine, the Snode is one of the best picks, and offer says “Consumer Reports” daily update. 

The water rower is designed to hold users of 331lbs maximum. Anyone above this requirement is not expected to use the Snode. Best for home use, it comes with a free personal training workout provided by Snode and is easy to learn and follow the workout guide.  

The water rowing mechanism is incorporated into the Snode to bring real-life water rowing experience to your sports, making it real and challenging. The resistance by the water is smooth and offers steady rowing. Your speed rate determines the resistance level. The faster you row, the more resistance level to get. Therefore, you can increase your frequency according to the force applied.

Like other products seen earlier, this comes with an LCD to track and view training analytics. This will help you in setting a realistic goal. 

Specs

  • 16 fan water resistance 
  • 331 lbs capacity 
  • LCD, record ad tracks data 
  • Free training workout to follow

Consumer reports

Excellent and high-quality construction. It was elementary to assemble, though it took about an hour to complete the entire process. The length of the machine is reasonable, provides plenty of space, supports my weight, and no challenge says “Dozerman.”

Not only lovely rower but also responsive customer service received, coming from Heidi L, a verified buyer, and user. 

You’ll agree with me that most water rowers are expensive and besides, they are few in the market. But this Snode is listed under $500 (five hundred dollars), which is pretty priced. 

7. Fitness Reality 4000MR Magnetic Rower

“The 4000MR house all the data I could ever want from a magnetic rower. The foldup is easy, and quality made compared to rival machines I stumbled upon,” says Carl Gallenson.

It is an excellent rower for a 78-year-old woman having mobility issues. Assembling the fitness reality wasn’t much work. We thoroughly followed the instruction written on the manual to put it together, and it took about 2 hours for the entire process. The wheels make it easier to transport it from where it is assembled to the room to use it. It’s a great rowing machine for elderly women, says “N. Kusche.” 

Specs

  • Easy to assemble
  • Wider and clear display
  • Magnetic rower technology
  • Eight resistance levels 
  • Ten canned programs
  • Easy to fold up for storage
  • Six preset programs
  • Adjustable pedals and foot straps
  • Chain drive and sturdy construction
  • Long rail accommodates both short and tall alike

Operationally, its quiet, and the performance is whoa. The dual handles give you maximum support to help you drive the rower wholly. The long rail can accommodate both taller and short persons, and your height is not a limitation. 

8. Stamina ATS Air Rower

Richard got the stamina to manage his medical condition. Since he wasn’t too financially stable at the time, he wanted a simple, cheap but reliable rower. Fancy features weren’t my concern. However, settle for the stamina ATS, and it’s worth the investment. 

It is an excellent rower looking at the price point. I am a woman of 5’4,” and I engage in a regular workout (vigorous lifting and cardio). Stamina is the best bet for me so far. It has a large footprint that fits comfortably. The machine gets my heart rate boosted and delivers an effective leg workout in as much you can row using the proper technique. Top of it assembling was easy – says Jen G. 

Specs

  • Easy to set up
  • User friendly
  • Great for any age
  • Low impact
  • Plenty of space for leg extension
  • Convenient set up for easy storage in a closet

Consumer reports

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using the machine and am happy with my results. I received a whole-body (my legs, arms, core, and back) workout. This is not for building muscles but is helpful in toning muscles. Also, expect to lose weight and increase cardiovascular development – says MJ.  

9. Echelon Smart Rower

“I like this air resistance rower, low noise impact. Possible to be rowing with the echelon without disturbing someone watching TV in the same room. Solid construction, not many plastic parts that can break out easily. Straightforward to assemble, but if you’ve got a different hand, that’ll be nice. All the same, I feel great training with the Echelon”. Says Will.

Echelon comes with a 90-days trial echelon premier membership that lets you access up to 3,000 live fitness classes led by the world’s best instructors. If you’re a beginner, you can find your way out to becoming a pro rower in a short while with these classes. And as for the very expert, you can tap into the wealth of other experienced teachers to explore classes such as cycling, yoga, running, Pilates, HIIT, running, and Kickboxing, respectively. 

Specs

  • Rotating HD screen
  • Very quiet magnetic resistance 
  • 12 months limited warranty on parts and labor 
  • 90 days free trial training classes to explore  
  • 100 days money-back guarantee 

The echelon rower boasts robust anesthetics for beginners and professionals, but it’s pricey. If you haven’t rowed before but just want to start, this model could break your savings. Better go for a machine of a lower budget. 

10. Dripex Magnetic Rower

“Quieter comparing with professional models found in gym centers. Installation was done with an assistance and not a complex process. Since I got it used daily for 30 – 1 hours, the difference is visible. My body feels better; even sleeping is like heaven. I couldn’t be happier. After comparing various products, I’m glad I landed the Dripex rower as a choice”. Says S.   

The Dripex resistance level is superb and favors challenging exercises. Other users had talked about the silent operation. Honestly, I’ve confirmed, the perfect rower for early morning and late-night workouts, and you won’t wake others sleeping in the house – feedback from Linda. 

Kelvin said, “Value for the money. Solid-state of the art rower for years of use”.  

Specs

  • Perfect home gym
  • 16 adjustable resistance 
  • Intuitive LCD monitor 
  • Great for cardio exercise training 

“Wrapping it up, I’ve been using this exercise tool for about seven months now, three times a week. The rower compliments my home gym, and I love the sturdiness and quietness. Its 72lbs item weight makes it balanced for my activity. Also has good resistance,” says “Yi Ding.” 

I don’t regret getting this magnetic model, though I was tempted to get an air resistance rower. A large screen size is good for the eyes and visible reading. In summary, best quality and ruggedly made machine, the price is incredible – Crabclawhands said.

How to choose

Rowing is excellent for the whole body. Your upper and lower body will feel the benefits, including your core and backside. If you’re looking for low-impact exercise, a rowing machine is the best option to bring this into reality. Rowers are suitable for all age categories, unlike exercise bikes that can be complex to ride. They’re inexpensive to acquire, and maintenance costs won’t take up to 0.1% of your savings but identifying the right quality is the key to a good rowing life experience. What to consider when shopping?

Working Mechanism

If this is your first time in the market wanting to shop for one, it is essential to know that rowing machines are powered by different mechanisms (usually referred to as resistance). The kinds include magnetic, air, and water-based method.

From product tested so far, the air and water-based type require your extraordinary effort. The more the pulling action increases, the more resistance to challenge your training, but some air model resistance can be increase depending on how advanced the model is.

The magnetic model comes with a programmable resistance level, which allows you to select the level you desire. Once a resistance level is set, it doesn’t change until you decide to alter it. Opt for this if you want a rower that don’t require much energy exhaustion.

Noise level

Air-based machines are louder. As such, you’ve to consider your household members. You can’t be training while inconveniencing others with noise pollution. Your hearing, too, can be affected.

Better LCD screen

Large interactive screens provide better viewing. It’ll also help you follow and implement steps when streaming free or paid classes. 

Max. User weight

Ensure to pick the right rower that would provide maximum support. In this regard, take your weight measurement and run with the value recorded. For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, it’s best to pick a machine within the 200 – 250 pounds range. Please do not go for a unit with less support; it won’t retain you. On the other, a higher-end weight capacity model will also increase your budget. Therefore, knowing your weighing ability will help you strike a balance point.

Warranty

Rowing machines are some worth investment, with prices ranging from two hundred to thousand dollars ($200 – $1000) above, ensuring secure purchasing matters. Anything can happen along the line, whether quality or not. Don’t be a victim of a false advertising message. Only buy products with warranty back-up and policy, and if possible money-back warranty term and agreement is additional.

How We Pick The Best Rowers

It is a matter of extensive research and testing of various rowers by different users. 

While this study of rowing machine scope covers 2021 to 2020, it’s a win-win deal to look for an affordable model for beginners. You can upgrade to a full-motion rower of higher-end and capacity as you progress over time. Most beginners desire; to check.

As for the pro rowers, the best budget rowing machine was our targeting factor. Because this category of rowers needs impressive features that would take them into an intensive workout, there is no need to break the bank, all in the name of extras. We’ve done the research for a low-budget one. For this set of people, the concept2 model d (with pm3 monitor) is worth considering. It is top-rated among rowers.

Folding and storage were other aspects we took into cognizance. As this exercise tool requires ample space, and most homes are tight. Therefore, the best foldable one is better to solve space problems.

The limitation of this study is that we could’ve explored more rowing machines, but it is impossible for the sake of testing. However, future articles will improve on this shortcoming to arrive at extensive lists.

Conclusion

For first-timers, be practical. Buying a new rowing machine could entail going to gym centers to see yourself and what this machine looks like in real life—possibly register for a few days or week classes to get a feel of how it works. If your schedule is tight, exploring videos on Youtube or related resources could update you about rowers before starting your shopping journey. 

We’ve highlighted the key factors to consider earlier for rowers buyers, but it’s wise to walk into stores where it’s being sold—sort and test different models to check for relevant features. Most importantly, the kind of resistance. More so, the LCD picture quality and more. Compare and contrast other rowing machines. Ask the vendor questions for clarity in areas needed. All these things will narrow your search down to identifying the right one. 

If there are any questions or desire a recommendation from our experts, contact us via; feedback@consumerreportsmag.com.