Best Air Rowing Machines: Top 5 Air Resistance Rowers

Serious indoor rowers have three options when it comes to best exercise rowing machines: air rowing machine, water, and magnetic rowers.

What indoor rower you choose is mainly a matter of preference, and all types have their benefits. But picking the best in home rowing machine is important because different resistant type works better in different situations.

To figure out which rowing machine is best for you, the first decision you need to make is to consider the noise level. If hearing the sound of water and the noise of a fan are not important factors, we recommend you the best air rowing machine to buy.

But if you like quiet rowing exercise, you may want to buy magnetic rowers. And if you like the sound of water when rowing at home, water rower is for you.

To better understand what is the best rowing machine for home use for you, see the water, magnetic and air resistance comparisons. There are quite a few factors that will influence your final decision.

Let’s say you decided to buy air resistance rowing machine which is considered the best rowing machine for home and gym use. The world’s finest athletes use air rowing machines for many good reasons.

The best buy rowing machine with air resistance offer uniquely smooth, consistent, strong and responsive resistance. The only downside is that they are louder compared to some other exercise rowing machines. If that is not an issue, read on our ultimate air rowers review.

Our team here at BEMH did a comprehensive search to find the best air rowing machines for home. Based on tens of factors we picked and reviewed these top air resistant rowing machines. The unique features and durability led us to choose these few air rowers among hundreds of air exercise rowing machines on the market.

This best air rowing machine review includes commercial Concept 2 rowers, Marcy, and Stamina inexpensive rowing machines. If you are ready to find out what’s the best air rowing machine, keep reading this air resistance rower buying guide.

Best Air Rowing Machines Compared

Best Air Rowing Machines Comparison Chart
Concept2 Model E Air Indoor Rowing Machine PM5Commercial38"
Yes but needs disassembly
Concept2 Model D Indoor Air Rowing Machine PM5Commercial38"
Yes but needs disassembly
NS-6050RE Marcy Air Resistance Rowing MachineHome use36"
Murtisol Air Resistance Rowing Machine W/ BluetoothHome use36"
Yes but needs disassembly
Stamina ATS Air Rower For Home UseHome use36"

Top 5 Air Rower Picks

1. Concept 2 Model E Air Indoor Rowing Machine PM5

concept 2 rowing machines model E and D

With adjustable air resistance, PM5 Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled monitor, 500 pounds weight capacity and 38″ inseam length capacity, the Concept 2 Model E rowing machine is the best commercial air rowing machine in 2023. In fact, we are certain Concept 2 rowing machine is not only the best “air rowing machine” but it’s the best rowing machine in general.

Featuring top of the line app compatible latest Concept 2 monitor, it allows you to race online, save your daily progress and track loads of useful rowing feedback. When exercising on Concept 2 indoor rowing machine model E, you can track your pace, watts, stroke rate, calories, and heart rate (using wireless chest strap).

When buying Concept 2 rowing machine model E, you will have 5 years on frame and 2 years on all parts warranty. So, you can invest in a Concept II rowing machine with peace of mind. Especially because the company offers top of the line customer services.

E model Concept rowing machine has adjustable and responsive resistance to suit your fitness level and program. Based on your speed the resistance will also change which makes rowing more challenging and similar to outdoor rowing.

Other good features of Concept 2 air rower include a foldable frame, fully adjustable footrests, ergonomic seat, handle and enclosed chain housing. If you can afford to buy this top air rowing exercise machine, don’t scroll down. Because you won’t be able to find a more durable and feature-rich air rowing machine.

2. Concept2 Model D Indoor Air Rowing Machine PM5


Equipped with the latest Monitor by the brand, the Concept 2 Model D rower is the second best foldable air rowing machine. You can connect your phone, tablet, computer or TV to the C2 air rower through Bluetooth and ANT/+. And then you can enjoy competing on the online rowing apps such as Zwift or Concept2 ErgData.

The Concept rower PM5 monitor has 5 preset programs, 10 customizable programs, rowing games, USB port, and internal memory to save your workouts. The frame can withstand 500 pounds user weight and the comfortable seat goes all the way back to accommodate up to 38″ inseam length.

Footrests are up and down adjustable to accommodate all feet sizes. They also have easy to use adjustable straps to keep your feet firmly in place during rowing workout. The handlebars and seat have an ergonomic design to provide comfort throughout your exercise.

Model D Concept two rowing machine folds up and takes very little space when not in use. Following the best technique for a rowing machine, this Concept 2 rower will give you decades of the aerobic and anaerobic workout.

The main difference between the Concept2 D and E model is the height of the seat and chain housing. Concept 2 D model seat is 14″ tall and the chain housing is partially inclose while model E seat is 20″ tall and it has fully inclose chain housing. Because E has a fully enclosed chain, the mechanism stays clean and dust-free.

And 20″ Tall seat is good for people with mobility issues who can’t squat too low. Model E Concept 2 rowing machine price is only $200 cheaper than model E. If you can afford it, we suggest you buy Concept2 model E. It’s featured on top of this air resistance rowing machine review.

3. NS-6050RE Marcy Foldable Air Resistance Rowing Machine


Unlike Concept 2 rowers, the Marcy rowing machine is a home rowing machine. Meaning it’s not durable enough to provide a rowing workout for more than 1-2 hours a day. The monitor of this home gym rowing machine is not as advanced as Concept2 air rowers. And max resistance is not as much as you get on Concept2. With that being said, this Marcy rowing machine costs less than half of a Concept rower.

If the mentioned features are not important for you, we strongly advise you to consider the Marcy rowing machines for home use. It’s the best air rowing machine under $500. Marcy folding rowing machine supports 300 pounds, 36″ inseam, and folds up to take very little space when not in use. The transport wheels make easy to move this air rowing machine out of the way.

The computer of this top budget air rowing machine is not backlit or app compatible but provides good rowing feedback. You can track SPM, time, calories, and speed but not your watts. The monitor uses 2 AA batteries and has tilt adjustment so everyone can have a clear view of the stats during the workout.

Unlike many air rowing machines with 3-5 resistance levels, Marcy offers 8 levels of air resistance. Resistance adjustment lever is handy and easy to reach. But what’s even more special is that this top-rated rowing machine responds to your effort. The faster you go, the more resistance you feel.

The height of the seat for this budget top air portable rowing machine is not disclosed but it’s assumed to be from 12″-15″ tall. The Marcy air turbine rowing Machine is made with a durable ergonomically designed mold-injected seat that provides a comfortable exercise.

This exercise machine by Marcy comes with two adjustable straps and foot platforms that offer comfort and stability during your workout routine. It also includes 2 years of limited warranty which is not bad for the price.

4. Murtisol Air Resistance Rowing Machine W/ Bluetooth

Murtisol Air Resistance Rowing Machine review

The Murtisol air rower is no Concept 2 but it is still one of the best-value air resistance indoor rowing machines out there, for good reasons. You’ll get a smooth ride with minimal noise, plus adjustable footrests and an ergonomic handle for maximum comfort. Once you’ve finished your rowing workout, it separates into two pieces for easy storage.

But that’s just part what we like about this indoor air rower. The Murtisol is a rowing machine that will hold up under a variety of workouts. It is a really great entry, mid and elite level rower for those looking for such an affordable air rower. It has a multifunction monitor that tracks strokes, SPM, speed, distance, time and calories burned when rowing.

Additionally what adds to its value is the Bluetooth functionality that comes with this air rower. It connects to your smart device (IOS and Anderoid) to send the rowing workout stats to fitness apps where you can store your daily workouts. For around $500, this is a handy little feature that isn’t found on many other air rowers.

The level of resistance is dynamic which means it is totally up to how fast/hard or slow you pull the handle and as you change your rowing speed. But also, to give you extra control over the amount of resistance, there are 10 adjustable resistance levels.

By changing them, you decide how much air hits the flywheel and ultimately create the resistance. The seat is also surprisingly comfortable for an air resistance rower this cheap. Usually seat cushions are recommended for these, but not necessarily here.

If that’s not enough to convince you to consider this home air resistance rower, it’s 500 pounds of weight capacity should! The durable design will allow you to get many years of use out of this machine, so long as you take care of it.

The frame/seat is 14″ tall so you should be able to easily get on/off the rower without bending your knees too low. Its assembly is very easy and if you are following the instructions, it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to get it fully assembled.

While it doesn’t come with many of the bells and whistles that you might expect to find at a nearby gym, for rowers in this price range, those are generally hard to come by. Overall a very solid air rower for such a cheap price.

5. Stamina ATS Home Use Air Resistance Rower


Let’s sort out the expectation before buying the Stamina air rower 1403. This Stamina air rowing machine costs around $250 which is ¼ of what you would invest in the Concept2 air rowers. And that’s why you can not expect it to be as durable, have the same monitor or offer the same resistance.

Stamina 1403 air rower is for beginners only. It’s not for elite or intermediate fitness level athletes. The manufacturer warranties the 1403 Stamina rower for 1 year on parts and 3 years on frame. And that’s not a bad sign for an inexpensive air rower.

We do believe the 1403 Stamina air rower can last a couple of years if used with good care and by one person. Note that we still recommend the Marcy listed in the third position of this air rowing machine reviews. It costs $70 more but it’s more durable, has an ergonomic seat, manually and dynamically adjustable resistance, and a better computer.

Stamina rowing machine model 1403 features a very small and dark basic monitor. It tracks speed, distance, time and calories but doesn’t the SPM or Watts. The resistance is not manually adjustable on this Stamina air rower unlike other rowers listed first, second and third in this home air rowing machine reviews.

But the intensity changes dynamically based on the speed of your rowing strokes. The handle is not ergonomically designed, like all the other cheap air rowers, it’s a simple straight bar without proper shape/bend.

This Stamina air rowing machine has a padded seat but the seat doesn’t have an ergonomic shape or cut for tailbones. It can support up to 250 pounds of user weight and from 4’9″ to 6’3″ user height.

The footplates are pivot and adjustable to fit shoe sizes. Stamina’s frame can fold up so it takes very little space. The shipping is free and all tools for the assembly of Stamina air rower are included. Overall it’s one of the best affordable air rowing machines for home use “for beginners”.

Best Air Resistance Rowing Machine – Buyer’s Guide


Adjustable resistance

Not all but some top air rowers for home feature both, adjustable resistance and responsive resistance. This way they can mimic the resistance felt while rowing on water.

On these best air resistance rowing machines you can manually change the resistance. But at the same time, the faster you row, the more resistance you feel.

There are cheap air resistance rowers that don’t provide sufficient resistance for all fitness levels. Therefore, we suggest you look for the best air rowers that provide challenging resistance for strength and cardio workout.

Seat height

The height of the seat on an air rowing machine for home matters a lot. If you don’t have a good balance, you may want to stay closer to the ground in case you fall. But if have knee and back issues that don’t allow you to squat low to reach the seat, you need to prioritize the seat height.

For those of you who can’t squat low, we recommend you to consider an affordable air rowing machine with the taller seat. They are easy to get on and off. Often the top air rowers’ seats are 19″-22″ tall from the ground. Our best air rowing machine review includes rowers with short and tall seats.

Inseam length

When looking for the best air rowing machines for home use, the inseam length is the main measurement to consider. Since inseam depends on the length of the legs and might vary for two people with the same height, we can’t tell you what inseam length is for you.

But to make it easier for you, we included the maximum inseam length capacity of each best home air rower featured in this review.

Some of the best rowing machine for tall people feature 38″ “inseam length” which accommodate users up to 6’7″ tall. These top home rowing machines allow you to fully extend your legs. Keep in mind that some low-cost air rowing machine with compact design, usually have a shorter inseam length.

Ergonomic folding frame

When searching for the best air indoor rowing machine, the frame is one of the most important factors. In order to avoid flimsy and unstable frames, look for rowing machines with a higher weight capacity. It’s one of the factors that indicate the quality of a good rowing machine.

A budget air rower with ergonomic design allows the seat to slight all the way forward. So, you can lean forward and extend your arms fully. You should also be able to see the rowing machine monitor without having to pause rowing or bend your neck.

When you are done looking for ergonomic design and weight capacity, see if it’s a folding rowing machine. Foldable rowing machine takes way less space when not in use.

The collapsible rowing machine is also safer since kids can’t use them or play with them. Last but not least consider buying the best cardio air rowing machine that fit where you are thinking of using it.

Rowing monitor

When buying the best value wind resistance rowing machine, the computer is one of the most important factors. The best air rowing machine monitors feature easy to see backlit, Bluetooth, and ANT/+ connectivity. So, you can wear a heart rate strap, join rowing apps and compete against other live rowers in the virtual environment.

Along with wireless connectivity, the best home air resistance rowers have internal memory or USB connectivity to allow you to save your daily progress.

Best rated rowing machine keeps track of the following vital workout statistics. These stats include the strokes per minutes, watts, distance, calories burnt, time and heart rate.

Some of the best air rowing machine workouts are doable only if you can see these workout progress. In addition to the current stats, some of the best indoor air resistance rowers display the maximum, average and the total number of all these stats.

Air rower warranty

The warranty says a lot about the quality of a rowing ergometer. It also gives peace of mind for your investment on an ergometer rowing machine. Especially because unlike some other exercise equipment, the best air folding rowing machine costs more.

Some top professional rowing machine brands such as Concept2, Bodycraft, and Lifefitness offer lifetime frame and up to 10 parts warranty. These companies have no doubt that their indoor rowing machines would last so long or they wouldn’t promise you such generous warranties.

Overall it’s an important factor that indicates how much the manufacturer trusts the stationary rowing machine they sell you. So, when you are searching on the internet for the best compact air rowing machine, pay attention to the warranty terms.

Air rowing machine price

Depending on where you buy an air rowing machine, the rowing machine price often varies. Some third-party retailers sell air rowing machines for the exact same price that you would buy from the actual manufacturer.

However, there are retailers that sell air rowing machines more expensive than others. After years of reviewing the rowing machines, we found the best inexpensive rowing machines on Amazon.

There are also countless options of air rowing machines on Amazon. It’s safe to say you won’t find so many home and gym rowing machine price and model options anywhere else.

For instance, the Concept 2 Model D best price on Amazon is exactly the same price as the manufacturer’s website. So, if you are wondering how much does a rowing machine cost, the answer highly depends on where you buy a rowing machine. The best budget air rowing machine price varies from $300 to $600 while the best-rated air rowing machines cost anywhere from $800-$1100.


Where to buy a rowing machine also depends on shipping and return policy terms. While the best fan rowing machine for home use features free shipping on Amazon, there are some retailers that will charge you an arm and leg for shipping.

So, when buying the best affordable air rowing machine, look for fast free shipping. The shipping shouldn’t affect how much a rowing machine cost. Also, look for free return policy when purchasing a good wind resistance rowing machine.

Customer support

Quality customer service is extremely important when buying erg machines. And depending on which brand you buy air rowers, the customer support might vary. Buying the best air rowing machine such as Concept 2 model E, you will receive excellent social media, live chat, email, and phone support.

But some cheaper gym equipment brands don’t offer fast and helpful support. Therefore, if you can afford to spend the extra few hundred dollars, we recommend the rowers such a Concpet2 commercial rowing machines.

Ergonomic handle

When doing a rowing machine comparison, consider the shape, weight/materials of handlebars. There are air rowing exercise machines that feature basic round and straight handle without proper ergonomic bend/shape.

The cheap air exercise rowing machines handles are also often made of steel which is relatively heavier than aluminum. But the best home rowers with air resistance feature lightweight aluminum, soft, and comfortable handlebar. Best indoor rower with air resistance such as Concept 2 rowers feature ergonomically shaped handle.

Rowing machine footboard

When rowing, you have three connections with a rowing machine. The seat, handle and the footboards. The most important among all is the foot connection with the rower because that’s where you put most of the power into. Therefore, proper foot placement on the rowing machine is an important factor.

But it’s not possible to find the correct foot position on the rowing machine unless the footrests are fully adjustable. When buying the best rowing machines for home use, look for foot-plates with two adjustments.

Good rowing machine footrests are adjustable up and down to fit different feet sizes. They also have adjustable straps to keep the foot tight in place during the exercise

Types of rowing machines

Air Rowing Machines

air rowers
Air Resistance Rowers

These rowers were initially introduced in the early 80s and didn’t take long to become the world’s most favorable indoor rowing machine. In the late 80s, the first and second commercial rowing ergometer by Concept2 known as models A and B was released.

Ever since many other fitness equipment brands tried to make air rowing machine. But Concept 2 stayed unbeatable for the indoor air rowers. Today Concept2 is making Model D and E air rowing machines that are unique in terms of quality, features, and price.

As for how the air rowing machine works, it’s pretty simple and straight-forward. Air rowers use vents and vanes to generate resistance. You can manually adjust the vents to control the volume of air that gets moved by the vanes of rotating the flywheel.

But what makes an air resistance rowing machine the choice of sports rowers is the responsive resistance. Meaning when you row fast, the resistance automatically gets harder in order to respond to your effort. So, regardless of your fitness level, a good fan rowing machine creates enough resistance to make the rowing workout challenging and fun.

  • Most-favorites:
  • Responsive resistance automatically adjusts the resistance based on the speed of your stroke.
  • You can buy commercial air rowing machines under $1000.
  • Simple drive mechanism which requires little maintenance.
  • The fan keeps you cool during rowing workout.
  • An infinite range of resistance is available.
  • Air-rowers simulate the rowing on water.
  • Consistent smooth operation.
  • Least-favorites:
  • Due to using a fan to create resistance, it’s the loudest among indoor rowing machines.
  • Air-rowers don’t feature heart rate controlled programs.

Water Rowing Machines

Water rowers
Water rowers

The simple and elegant water rowing machines that you find today were originally designed in the 80s by John Duke a US national team rower and the founder of WaterRower company. Before that, a few other brands tried to make water rowing machines but they were never able to create the design and simplicity of Duke’s water-rowers.

Water-resistance rowing machines feature sealed containers that hold 10-20 liters of water and paddles. They are similar to air rowers in terms of responsiveness. Meaning the best water rower would change the resistance automatically when you change your rowing speed.

What makes water rowing machine workout more fun is the sound of the water. It gives more natural rowing feel than air and magnetic rowers. But with the sound comes the extra maintenance. Water rower exercise machine requires water changes every 6 months or so and often a fluid rowing machine is heavier than an air rower.

Not all but some water-based rowing machines feature adjustable resistance. Therefore, along with cardiovascular workout, you can do strength training on a water power rowing machine.

  • Most-favorites:
  • They usually feature a wooden frame which makes them more elegant and better looking.
  • Water rowers have a quieter operation compared to air rowers.
  • Consistent and responsive resistance through each stroke
  • The sound of water provides a more real rowing feel.
  • Least-favorites:
  • Water rowers are often more expensive than other indoor rowers.
  • These exercise rowing machines are often heavier.
  • The plastic tank requires more care.
  • Water needs changing occasionally.

Magnetic rowing machines

Magnetic rowers
Air-Magnetic rowers

The quietest rowing machines are the magnetic resistance rowing machines. Unlike water flow rowing machine and air rowing machine, they use magnets to create resistance.

When you change the tension on a magnetic rower, the magnets come close or get far from the flywheel. But nothing comes in contact which leads to quieter operation.

There are three types of magnetic rowers. The electro-magnetic rowing machine, the manual magnetic rowing machines, and the air-mag rowers. The electromagnetic combined with air resistance are more expensive. Because they are more precise, can be pre-programmed and the resistance is dynamic.

It means you can feel the low-end fixed power of magnetic and the high-end dynamic power of air. It’s a greater overall resistance compared to single resistant rowers.

On an electromagnetic rowing machine, there are heart rate controlled programs that automatically switch resistance levels based on your heart rate. The single resistance magnetic indoor rowing machines are not responsive. Meaning the resistance doesn’t change based on your rowing stroke speed, you will feel the same tension until you manually change resistance.

  • Most-favorites:
  • Electromagnetic rowers change resistance automatically throughout the preset programs.
  • Air-electromagnetic rowers create more resistance compared to single resistance rowers.
  • Electro-magnetic rowing machines feature heart rate controlled programs.
  • Magnetic rowers offer the quietest operation among all indoor rowers.
  • They are often smaller than air or water rowers
  • Little maintenance required.
  • Least-favorites:
  • “Single resistance” magnetic rowers don’t offer dynamic resistance to mimic rowing on the water.
  • “Single resistance” magnetic rowers usually don’t offer sufficient resistance for challenging workouts.

Rowing Machine Clothing And Accessories

In this air resistance rowing machines review, we also featured the most important indoor rowing accessories and clothing. The following fitness equipment and clothing will make rowing exercise more fun and enjoyable.

Knee pads

Indoor rowing exercise might cause a bit of knee pain on some users, especially if you had accident or knee surgeries. Therefore, using a pair of compression knee braces is a good option to relieve joint pain.

Additionally, you can use them for any other outdoor and indoor activities such as running, weightlifting, cycling, football and more.

They feature reinforced patella stabilizer that holds the patella in proper position and stabilizes your ACL, PCD, and MCL ligaments.

The knee support exerts a beneficial massaging action with gentle compression during movement while improving sensory-motor function of the entire joint. Its heating effect improves circulations and promotes muscular recovery. Great for healing, recovery, and rehab.

Click here to see the latest prices and more information.

Rowing instruction

To start indoor rowing, you don’t need to subscribe to a professional rowing class unless you are doing it for competition. But to make you are following the right rowing machine technique and to take some of the guess workouts out for maximum effectiveness, you might need some instructions.

With the Erg book not only you will learn how to use a rowing machine, but you will also learn 300+ indoor rowing workouts. It’s written by three long-time rowing coaches and has received loads of good ratings from consumers. This top rowing exercise book includes more than 375 of the best indoor rowing workouts of all time.

The Erg rowing exercise machine workout is designed and organized by skill level, fitness training goals, time and difficulty. They organized the rowing workouts into easy, moderate, advance, aerobic, and anaerobic. So, it’s easy for you to pick a workout for your ability and strength level.

Click here to see the latest price and more information.

Rowing gloves

The indoor exercise rowing machine can cause painful blistering and ripped skin. Additionally, some cheap rowing machines handle covers get slippery after sweating. Therefore, you can’t maintain a comfortable grip through the workout.

But thankfully there are specific rowing gloves that promote comfortable grip and prevent blisters. They don’t’ cost much so we suggest you to consider them when buying the best air rowing machine.

In addition to erging “indoor rowing”, you can use these sports gloves for CrossFit training, weight-lifting, kayaking, SUP boards, and other paddle sports.

Click here to see the latest price and more information.

Rowing shoes

Choosing what rowing machine shoe to wear during an erg session is more of a personal preference. Some rowers don’t even wear shoes. However, the professional rowers recommend specific erging shoes for optimal performance and maximum power transfer.

Using regular shoes with thick cushion can reduce the amount of power/force that gets applied to your leg drive. The regular gym and running shoes with “heel-to-toe drop” can also affect the angle at which you push off the foot-boards. And that can lead to less power transfer as well.

According to expert rowers, the best indoor rowing shoes need to have a thin flat sole, flexible, lightweight and breathable fabric. Your erg shoes don’t need to have loads of cushioning because rowing doesn’t have a huge impact unlike running.

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Rowing shorts

Indoor rowing can cause chaffing due to extensively rubbing your bottom between the seat and your clothes. And a small short seam can irritate your skin after a week of daily rowing.

Therefore, it’s important to wear spandex tight fitting short that moves with your body rather than rubbing against your body. Another reason to wear tight fitting is that rowing machine offers a full body workout sliding forward and reverse on moving a seat. And when dealing with moving parts, wearing tighter clothing is safer.

You also need to consider that rowing machine workout burns loads of calories and makes you sweat a lot. And if you are not wearing moisture-wicking clothing, you will not feel comfortable enough to do longer rowing workouts.

Additionally, remember to always clean your seat properly after each use to prevent the bacteria from building up on your clothes and erg rowing machine. It might sound a lot but when buying a rowing machine, you should prioritize your safety and comfort.

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Best rowing shirt

Clothing for indoor rowing is an important factor to have a comfortable exercise. While it’s a matter of personal preference on how tight or lose the shirt is, we highly recommend you to consider a moisture-wicking shirt for indoor rowing. Also, look for rowing shirts with flatlock seamlines and no tag collar to reduce chafing and increase comfort.

Using lightweight synthetic clothing with stretchable moisture-wicking fabric works better than cotton. During rowing exercise, you sweat a lot. Therefore, this material feels more comfortable and provides better drying.

When buying clothing for indoor rowing, we also recommend you to consider breathable shirts with short sleeves. They provide better air circulation and cool feeling.

Click here to see the latest price and more information.

Rowing seat pad

While some home rowing machines feature ergonomic well-padded seats, most cheap compact rowing machines have hard seat with very little padding. Therefore, after a few session, you might experience lower body pain also known as rowing butt pain.

Fortunately, there are easy and inexpensive solutions to this. Usually adding a rowing seat pad to your erg will resolve the issue. But before buying a cushioned seat for your rower, we recommend you to try to make your own cushion.

Using a piece of bubble wrap or a folded towel on the rowing seat might be all that you need. But if that doesn’t work for you, try a rowing cushion. A well-designed seat cushion cover will alleviate unnecessary pressure on your sitting bones and tailbone.

It will also increase blood flow to your hamstrings and glutes so they don’t go numb. Some rowing seat cushions even help to improve your form by better aligning your body to allow for better posture. This will help to reduce butt, back, and leg pain. Note: While most pads are advertised as Concept 2 seat cushion cover, they can fit most indoor rowers.

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Equipment mate

Even the best home rowing machine can create a vibration which leads to ugly scratches on your wooden floors in addition to a few other damages. But you can prevent scratches along with all the other damages with a cheap rowing machine mate.

Placing a portable rowing machine on floor mats can absorb vibrations making it more comfortable to row. It can also prevent slippage, reduce noise and increase the life of your machine.

In addition to that, using a mat underneath your air rower is more hygienic. You can easily wipe off the chain oil and sweat after each indoor rowing session. And from time to time you can leave the mat outdoor in the sun to disinfect.

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Rower’s Maintenance

The best air rowers as well as the cheapest rowing machines require maintenance every now and then depending on how often you use them. Two parts that require more care are the rowing machine chain and the seat rolls.

Cleaning weekly and using a good oil to lubricate will have a huge impact on the smoothness of your workout as well as the life of your rowing machine.

While it’s included with some top rowing machines, most budget rowers don’t come with the oil bottle. So you need to buy this specifically formulated little bottle of clear oil for lubricating the chain.

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Water bottle

Staying hydrated is an important factor when exercising on a rowing machine or any fitness equipment. Especially when rowing with high intensity or for a longer duration.

We suggest you buy an ergonomic design dust-proof and leak-proof bottle to compensate for the liquid you lose when sweating heavily.

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Chest strap

It’s important to track your heart rate to understand what type of workout you do. For instance, 75-100 beat per minute “BPM” is warm up, 100-120 BPM is weight control fat burn, 120-140 BPM is aerobic endurance, and 140-160 BPM is the anaerobic hardcore workout.

Anything above 170 BPM is considered maximum effort which is advised only for experienced athletes. As you can see your heart rate gives loads of useful information about rowing workouts. But you wouldn’t know them unless you are wearing a rowing heart rate strap.

Before buying a wireless chest strap for a good rowing machine workout, you need to find out the wireless connection capability of your rower’s monitor. For instance Concept 2 PM5 monitor has Bluetooth connectivity so you can use the Polar H7 heart rate chest belt.

But the Concept 2 PM4 monitor uses the radio frequency 2.4 GHz ANT wireless communications protocol. So, you would need to use a chest belt such as this Garment strap.

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9.7Expert Score
Best Air Rowers I Owned

Air rowing machines are a good way to get a very intense workout and you can do so from the comfort of your home! There are many different fold away air rowing machines on the market. When choosing the best indoor air rowing machine for yourself consider ergonomic design, durability, monitor functions, weight, and height capacity. It must be said that all of the fold-up air rowing machines listed in this review are of high quality and good value. Which one to pick from our top air rowing machine reviews is a choice that you need to make depending on your fitness needs and budget. In this article I reviewed the top 5 models including Concept2 Model E, Concept2 Model D, Marcy Turbin, Murtisol, and Stamina air rowing machines. Although they are all good value for the price, I personally recommend the Concept2 Model E if budget is not the main concern. But if you want to spend a bit less and still get a good quality air resistance rowing machine, I recommend the Concept2 Model D which is cheaper than Model E. If your budget falls under $500, then I suggest the Marcy Turbing air rower because it’s the most affordable decent quality air rowing machine. In any case, indoor rowing is an excellent form of exercise for all fitness levels!


Sayed Hamed Hosseiny
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, my name is Sayed Hamed Hosseiny. I am a professional health and fitness trainer with nearly 20 years of experience using ellipticals, rowing machines, and spin bikes. I also have my own EU-based Rock Fitness Pro fitness brand where I design, import and sell exercise equipment such as rowing machines and spin bikes. I and writers on my team also often receive fitness equipment to review and evaluate their functionalities and performance from tens of different exercise machines manufacturers. Fitness equipment tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on this website are my opinion (and opinions of my fitness expert colleagues) based on tens of criteria. I never accept payment to write reviews of products or say positive things about fitness equipment products. If brands are interested to have me review their rowers, ellipticals, or spin bikes, they can get in touch with me via email provided on the contact page and send a sample of their product.