Learn how to choose and buy a rowing machine by seing this short video. A rowing machine that measures and records the amount of work done by the user is often called an ergometer or just erg. The PM5 Performance Monitor is a great example.

Most important measures are Pace (strokes per minute) and Speed (measured in time per 500 meters, watt, calories). These numbers make it possible to register your progress when rowing.

Choosing and buying an rowing machine

If you’re just starting out, buying a rowing machine is an excellent choice! Rowing machines are suitable for people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels.

Rowing machines offer a great full-body workout that can help you burn more calories than any other piece of exercise equipment. Plus, they are low impact, so they won’t cause any strain on your body.

When it comes to choosing the right rowing machine, there are several factors to consider, such as features, price, and size.

However, with the right research and guidance, you’ll be able to find the perfect rowing machine for you. TIP: Remember to read some of the reviews from customers who have made verified purchases.

Important criteria to consider:

  • Type of resistance (air, water, magnetic)
  • Comfort (ergonomic handles and seat)
  • Maximum user weight
  • LCD display (for tracking stroke per minute, speed, time, distance, calories burned, etc.)
  • Adjustability (footrest and straps, handle, seat height, monitor, etc.)
  • Noise level (to ensure the machine is quiet enough to use in the home)
  • Durability (choose a machine made from high-quality materials that will last for years)
  • Price (including the cost of the machine and any additional features)
  • Storage dimensions and mobility
  • Spare parts and service (to check if the manufacturer offers easy access to spare parts and service options in case of any troubleshooting needs)

Air resistance rowing machines

Choosing a Rowing Machine with air resistance provide a smooth rowing motion and allow users to row intensely for one set, and then row more leisurely for the next without stopping or altering any settings.

Consequently, users can control the resistance by rowing faster or slower, making this a great choice for beginners since they can adjust the resistance to their level.

How Air-resistance works

Air-resistance rowers use a spinning fan flywheel to create resistance. Pulling the handle spins the flywheel, creating wind that determines the resistance level. The harder the handle is pulled, the greater the resistance.

Do your research to clarify your needs

How to Choose a Rowing Machine can be daunting. In conclusion, if you take the time to consider your goals, budget, and the features of the machine, you can find the perfect model for you.

Training in the Concept2 RowErg® indoor rowing machine. Learn how to choose and buy a rowing machine. See our buying guides. We have lists of rowing machines with air, water and magnetic resistance.
Click ImageBrandRowing Machine ModelStar RatingPrice RangeStorageDimensions
D x W x H (Inch)

Rover with standard legs.
More than 11,900 reviews.
Easy access to spare parts & service.
Concept2 RowErg® (Model D)4.9Over $1,000Upright / Foldable96 x 24 x 14

Rover with tall (+6 inch) legs.

*The Model D & E
was renamed ”RowErg”
effective April 2021.
Concept2 RowErg® (Model E)4.8Over $1,000Upright / Foldable96 x 24 x 20
Body-SolidBody-Solid Endurance R3004.8$500-$999Upright / Foldable95 x 24 x 40
Fitness Reality

* Amazon’s Choice

**Air (+magnetic)
Fitness Reality Dual4.4$250-$499Foldable70 x 23 x 26
SereneLifeSereneLife Smart Home Rowing Machine4.3$250-$499Foldable83 x 19 x 34
XTERRA Fitness

*Air (+magnetic)
Xterra Erg700 Rower4.2$500-$999Foldable97 x 18 x 38
XTERRA FitnessXterra Erg500 Rower4.2$250-$499Foldable72 x 19 x 33
StaminaStamina X AMRAP4.2$500-$999Foldable94 x 24.5 x 42
StaminaStamina ATS Air Rower 1402C4.2$250-$499Foldable73.5 x 18.25 x 22
StaminaStamina ATS Air Rower 13994.1$250-$499Foldable77 x 18.75 x 22
StaminaStamina X Air Rower3.9$250-$499Foldable78.5 x 18 x 29

*Air (+magnetic)
Stamina DT Pro Rower3.9Over $1,000N/A89.75 x 20 x 40.5
StaminaStamina Air Rower 14063.5$250-$499Foldable79 x 18.75 x 31.5

Water resistance rowing machines

You can also choose a rowing machine with water resistance that is designed to provide a realistic on-water rowing experience. It uses a flywheel system to create resistance as the user rows.

How water-resistance works

The flywheel is enclosed in a tank filled with water, and the paddle is pushed against it as the user rows. This creates resistance that is dependent on the intensity of the users pull, giving a great fullbody workout.

Firstly, the intensity of the resistance can be adjusted by changing the amount of water in the tank, making water resistance rowing machines ideal for both absolute beginners and more experienced rowers alike.

In conclusion, choosing the right rowing machine can be a difficult task, but it is important to take the time to consider all the factors before making a purchase.

How to Choose a Rowing Machine with Water Resistance.
Click ImageBrandRowing Machine ModelRatingPrice RangeStorageDimensions
D x W x H (Inch)
CityRow Go

*Gym Quality
5.0Over $2,000Upright22 x 85 x 45
CityRow Go

*Gym Quality
CITYROW Classic Rower3.9$1000–$1,500Upright22 x 85 x 20
WaterRowerWaterRower Club Hi Rise – 150 S4-HR4.7Over $1,000Upright82 x 22 x 28
WaterRowerWaterRower Club All Black4.6Over $1,000Upright84 x 21 x 22
WaterRowerA1 Home Rowing Machine4.6$500–$999Upright83.5 x 22.25 x 20
WaterRowerWaterRower Club Ash – Club S44.5Over $1,000Upright84 x 21 x 22
WaterRowerClassic Rowing Machine – Walnut S44.5Over $1,000Upright84 x 21 x 22
MeraxWater Rowing Machine4.6$500–$999Upright78 x 20 x 25.5
XTERRA FitnessXterra Erg650w Water Rower4.6$500–$999Upright20.7 x 79.5 x 33.9
XTERRA Fitness

*Amazon’s Choice
Xterra Fitness ERG600W4.2$250–$500Upright22 x 80.7 x 33
Sunny Health & Fitness

*Amazon’s Choice
Phantom Hydro - SF-RW5910, Silver4.5$500–$999Upright21.25 x 81.5 x 39.5
Sunny Health & Fitness

*Amazon’s Choice
Obsidian Surge 5004.3$250–$500Upright22 x 80 x 34
Fitness RealityFitness Reality 3000WR4.7$250–$500Upright20 x 77.3 x 34
StaminaStamina X Water Rower4.4$500–$999Foldable63 x 20 x 37.5
StaminaStamina Elite4.2$500–$999Foldable85.35 x 20.25 x 32.75
MR. CaptainRowing Machine for Home 4.3$500–$999Upright82 x 22 x 10

Magnetic resistance rowing machines

When choosing a rowing machine with magnetic resistance that uses a magnetic field to create resistance against the user to simulate the feeling of rowing on water, you get a very quiet rower.

The benefits of magnetic resistance

This resistance is usually adjustable, allowing users to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout for different levels of difficulty. Magnetic resistance machines are quieter than other types of rowing machines and require minimal maintenance.

They are built to last and are perfect for absolute beginners looking to get a full body workout.

Click ImageBrandRowing Machine ModelRatingPrice RangeResistanceStorageDimensions
D x W x H (Inch)
YOSUDAMagnetic Rowing Machine4.8$249 & UnderMagneticUpright58 x 18.1 x 8
MeraxMerax 2023 Magnetic Rowing Machine 4.6$250-$499MagneticFoldable63.8 x 21.2 x 47.2
Sunny Health & Fitness

*Amazon’s Choice

Assembly Video Guide
User Manual
Magnetic SF-RW5801 Rower4.5$249 & UnderMagneticFoldable23 x 77 x 22.5
Sunny Health & Fitness

*Amazon’s Choice

Assembly Video Guide
Workouts on Video
User Manual
Magnetic SF-RW5515 Rower4.4$249 & UnderMagneticFoldable89 x 18.9 x 23.6
Sunny Health & Fitness

*Amazon’s Choice

User Manual
Magnetic SF-RW5622 Rover4.4$249 & UnderMagneticFoldable21 x 72 x 18.5
Sunny Health & Fitness

User Manual
Magnetic SF-RW5941 Rover4.4$250-$499MagneticFoldable22.8 x 76.8 x 22.8

* Combined rower & bicycle
Stamina Deluxe Conversion II Recumbent Rower4.3$500-$999MagneticFoldable75 x 20 x 27
StaminaStamina Avari Magnetic Rower4.1$500-$999MagneticFoldable81 x 20 x 25
StaminaStamina 35-1110 Magnetic Rower4.1$249 & UnderMagneticUpright60 x 22 x 28
Fitness Reality

*Amazon's Choice

Assembly Video Guide
User Manual
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower4.5$250-$499MagneticFoldable21.5 x 88.5 x 21.5
XTERRA FitnessXterra Erg220 Rower4.5$249 & UnderMagneticFoldable19 x 80 x 29
EchanfitMagnetic Rowing Machine CRW49014.4$250-$499MagneticFoldable19.29 x 74.8 x 34.06
EchanfitMagnetic Rowing Machine R424.4$250-$499MagneticFoldable29.13 x 76.18 x 19.29
JOROTOJOROTO MR35 Magnetic Rower4.3$250-$499MagneticFoldable21 x 71 x 36

*Amazon’s Choice

User Manual
Magnetic Rowing Machine NS-40503RW4.3$250-$499MagneticFoldable74 x 20 x 33