Best Magnetic Rowing Machines For 2023

I bought my first magnetic rowing machine years ago when I didn’t have much space and was living in a small apartment. That cheap magnetic rowing machine faithfully stood by me for about 5 years of continuous use.

Since then, I’ve tried not just one or two magnetic rowers but many different home rowing machines. From air rowers to high-end water rowers. But that quiet magnetic resistance rower made it possible to exercise and do daily indoor rowing workouts without disturbing my neighbors.

It wasn’t until I started using the rowing machine in the gym that I realized how effective rowing exercise was compared to stationary upright bikes. So, I decided to upgrade to a magnetic rower for a full-body workout.

But I remember very well that finding that good magnetic rower wasn’t an easy job. It took me days of research and reading magnetic rower reviews on the web.

And that’s why I thought it’s helpful to put together the best magnetic rowing machine reviews. So, it’s easier for you to buy a magnetic rowing machine without spending days looking for an indoor rower. Here’s my comprehensive guide to buying the best magnetic rowing machine for your home in 2023!

Best Magnetic Rowers Comparison

Best Magnetic Rowing Machines Comparison Chart
NordickTrack RW900 Rowing Machine22" HD touch with 1- year free iFit membership - Distance, calories, strokes, splits, watts, and heart rateYes38"
26-Levels Smart
Hydrow Live Reality Home Magnetic Rower22" HD touch - requires membership ($35/month) - Distance, calories, strokes, splits, and heart rateNo35"
Multi-Level Smart
Fitness Reality 4000 Magnetic Resistance Rowing MachineBlue backlit with 15 preset programs - distance, time, count, calories burned, RPM, watts, and tension levelsYes41"
16-level electromagnetic
JOROTO Home Magnetic Indoor RowerBasic, not backlit - time, count, total count, and caloriesNo35"
HouseFit Magnetic Resistance Rowing MachineBasic, not backlit - time, count, calories, total count, and scanNo43.5"
Sunny Health And Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing MachineBasic, not backlit - ime, count, calories, total count, scanYes42"
Merax Folding Magnetic Exercise RowerBasic, not backlit - time, count, calories, total countYes35"

1. NordickTrack RW900 Rowing Machine

NordicTrack RW900 Rower Review

Featured the best rower in the most magnetic rowing machine reviews, the Nordictrack WR900 is a home-quality rowing machine. It’s the most durable and advanced magnetic resistance rowing machine by NordicTrack. And the best magnetic rowing machine to buy in our review.

Featuring 26 levels of smart electromagnetic to provide the full benefits of indoor rowing. The resistance is electronically controlled which makes it extremely precise compared to manual resistance.

The WR900 magnetic home rowing machine has an easy to read 22′ HD touchscreen display. The following stats are displayed in current, average, and maximum values. Meters, watts, pulse, time, SPM, total strokes, calories, split time, and resistance level.

Although there is no user profile or preset programs on the monitor itself, it does connect to iFit which brings hundreds of programs and allows you to create countless user profiles.

1 Year iFit membership is also included with this magnetic rower purchase. After the free year ends, you will need to renew the subscription if you want to join on-demand classes or watching pre-recorded rowing classes.

The monitor is not ANT or Bluetooth enabled so you can’t connect your wireless headset to the rower but there is a port that allows wired headphone connection. In order to work, the LCD monitor and the electromagnetic system requires to be plugged into a home electricity socket.

A few other great features that put the WR900 in the first position in our top rowing machine reviews are the comfortable handlebar, easy fold-up design with safety, and contoured seat.

When buying this magnetic rowing exercise equipment, you will receive an ensuring generous warranty. If you can afford it, don’t look further because the Nordictrack Wr900 is the best magnetic rowing machine for home use.

  • Specs:
  • Assembled dimensions: 86″L x 22″W x 50″H
  • Folded dimensions: 58.5″L x 20″W x 77″H
  • Max Inseam: 38″
  • Max user weight: 250-Lb
  • Unit weight: 130-lb
  • Seat height: 15″
  • Warranty:
  • 2 years parts
  • 1 year of labor
  • 10 years frame
  • Pros:
  • 6’6″ User height capacity to accommodate all members of your family.
  • Engaging touch computer with several great programs.
  • Foldable frame for easy and safe storage.
  • Elegant color and design that matches any room decoration.
  • 26 Levels of smart electromagnetic resistance.
  • Soft and comfortable contoured seat.
  • Cons:
  • To access iFit classes after the free trial (first year), you need to renew the subscription.
  • The chest strap is not included.
  • No resistance control on the handlebars

2. Hydrow Live Reality Home Magnetic Rower

Hydrow Rower Review

One of our all-time favorite rowing equipment machines, the Hydrow Rower features a great sleek design, powerful electromagnetic resistance, 22″ touch HD computer, and ergonomic design. The multi-leve magnetic resistance make it perfect for users of all ages and fitness levels. If you are looking for challenging resistance, you will love this dual advanced magnetic rower.

The price of this Hydrow magnetic erg rowing is more than any other rowing machine on this list but it also comes with a unique durability and advanced computer controlled magnetic resistance. This magnetic exercise rower supports up to 300 pounds.

The seat and handle are both padded and feature a detailed ergonomic design. So, you can expect great comfort during rowing workout. It has an adjustable footpad design with custom texture for user comfort. Footboard adjusts to your feet’s size and offers a unique heel support system.

The very unique features are yet to be told. This indoor rower has a user-friendly large displays that tracks time, watts, strokes per minute (SPM), distance, and calories. So, you can keep track of your power, progress, and performance.

But that’s not all, once connected to the Hydrow, you will have tons of Manual and Race mode programs and can create unlimited user profiles for each memeber of your family. A great benefit to offer a variety of training options.

Hydrow magnetic exercise rower is for average, tall, and short users. It can provide rowing exercise for users with up to 6’4″ inseam length and there is no height restriction for shorter users.

The two biggest cons of the Hydrow magnetic exercise rowing machine are the non-folding frame and the expensive monthly/yearly subscription. However, if you buy the Hydrow vertical storage kit, you can store the rower standing against the wall. Additionally, it has durable wheels for easy transportation. Also, because the Hybrow app allows unlimited user profiles, you can try to find someone to share the subscription fee.

  • Specs:
  • Assembled dimensions: N/A
  • Standing dimensions: 24: x 33″
  • Max Inseam: 35″
  • Max user weight: 250-Lb
  • Unit weight: 145-lb
  • Seat height: 15″
  • Warranty:
  • 2 Year all parts
  • 6 Years frame
  • 18-Month labor
  • Pros:
  • More than 500 on-demand videos of varying lengths and intensities, live broadcasts with live leaderboards, full-body workout, durable construction, quiet, and precise electromagnetic resistance.
  • Quiet, electromagnetic resistance that adjusts 240 times per second
  • Ergonomic soft seat to alleviate pressure to reduce back pain and provide comfort.
  • Largely adjustable foot pedals to accommodate almost any rowing shoes.
  • Quality rowing strap eliminates any excess noise while rowing.
  • Durable aluminum seat rail with large height capacity.
  • The soft handle allows for a smooth, comfortable grip.
  • Cons:
  • Heart rate strap is not included.
  • It is an expensive magnetic rower
  • Requires membership for access to all of the features
  • Takes up a lot of space and doesn’t fold away

3. Fitness Reality 4000 Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality 4000MR magnetic rower review

If you want to know what is the best magnetic resistance rowing machine under $1000, the Fitness Reality 4000MR indoor rower is your answer. The 4000MR is one of the best value magnetic resistance rowing machines that is featured third in our indoor rower reviews. It’s a good alternative for those who can’t afford the advanced WR900 magnetic rower.

Purchasing this magnetic rowing machine won’t break your bank account. It costs less than $900 yet offering a durable and sturdy drive. The Fitness Reality 4000MR is a foldable magnetic rower that takes very little space when it’s not in use. So, you can get it out of the way easily after each use.

What we really like about the 4000MR magnetic indoor rower is the resistance system and the unique design of handlebars. The dual transmission resistance will respond to your effort and make rowing more interesting. Using the electromagnetic system, this portable rowing machine has 15 workout programs to keep your indoor cycling exercise more enjoyable.

The backlit monitor tracks time, distance, calories, time 500m, strokes, strokes per minute, and total stroke profile. It doesn’t have Bluetooth, ANT/+, WiFi, or wireless chest strap connectivity. So, you can’t join online racing apps or save your daily rowing workout progress.

Unlike low-cost budget indoor rowers, the 4000MR foot-rests have detailed features that help you get a solid push-off. Some good details include deluxe pivoting heel rest, heel stop, non-slip lines, and wide velcro foot straps to provide a snug fit for your feet. For extra durability and smoothness, it has extruded aluminum mono-rail and Premium Nylon belt.

One of the common issues that are often found on the magnetic rowing machine for home exercise is the weak return spring that stops working properly after a few months. But thankfully the Fitness Reality 4000MR magnetic rowing machine has unique independent handles to more accurately simulate rowing with oars which avoids some regular frustrating maintenance.

There are a few other good features that put the 4000MR in our top magnetic rowing machines review. They include the lightweight rubber-grip handlebar, quiet performance, built-in transport wheels, and a deeply contoured seat with heavy-duty roller bearings.

  • Specs:
  • Assembled dimensions: 72″L x 25″W x 51″H
  • Folded dimensions: 45″L x 25″W x 59″H
  • Max Inseam: 41″
  • Max user weight: 300-Lb
  • Unit weight: 125-lb
  • Seat height: 30″
  • Warranty:
  • 3 Years parts
  • 2 Electronic parts
  • 5 Years Frame
  • Pros:
  • 4000MR magnetic rower has one of the best warranty among other rowers under $1000 in this indoor magnetic rowing machine reviews.
  • 16 Levels of dual transmission magnetic resistance for a smooth and challenging workout.
  • Ranked the best affordable magnetic indoor rowing machine by the majority of consumers on the web.
  • High-quality clutch and return spring.
  • Good warranty and high rise frame for easy accessibility.
  • Backlit monitor for easy fitness tracking
  • Cons:
  • 4000MR home rower is not compatible with heart rate straps.
  • There is no Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

4. JOROTO M35 Magnetic Indoor Rower

Joroto MR35 magnetic rowing machine review

We recommend this Joroto magnetic rowing machine to buy for anyone who is looking for an affordable magnetic resistance rowing machine. This model comes with 10 levels of magnetic resistance combined with an aluminum flywheel. And that is very rare to find for rowing machines under $400.

To use the machine, you don’t need to plug in this budget magnetic rower. You can effectively and precisely change the resistance that suits your workout plane manually with the knob.

Although the monitor is very basic and there is no back-light, you can still track your progress without having to pause the rowing exercise. But at night or low-light conditions, you probably won’t be ablet o see your workout progress on the monitor so you will have to keep the room light on. Note that keeping the light on might disturb your kids or partner in the early morning or evening.

Joroto magnetic rowing machine keeps you motivated by tracking time, count, and calories, but keep in mind that it doesn’t track splits or heart rate. This best rated magnetic rowing machine also doesn’t read watts but it’s not a factor unless you do racing.

Although the Joroto magnetic rowing machine is not foldable, it takes very little space when not used as you can easily store it standing and get it out of the way. The sturdy aluminum slide rail provides a very smooth surface fo the rollers to operate smoothly and silently.

If you are still here, keep reading these few other excellent features that make this Joroto the best magnetic compact rowing machine under $300. Designed with professional rowing athletes it has an ergonomic handle to ensure correct posture during exercise to prevent injuries.

Bottom line is that you will buy a sturdy and elegant design foldable magnetic rowing machine for a budget price. It has a smooth and quiet rolling system, antiskid large texture pedals with adjustable straps, and a silent belt drive.

This magnetic resistance rowing machine has a comfortable, padded, upholstered seat. But if it hurts your tailbone due to the lack of thickness, you can always consider buying an exercise rower seat cushion for as little as $30.

  • Specs:
  • Assembled dimensions: 71″L x 21″W x 36″H
  • Standing dimensions: 22″L x 21″W x 71″H
  • Max Inseam: 36″
  • Max user weight: 250-Lb
  • Unit weight: 60-lb
  • Seat height: 10″
  • Warranty:
  • N/A
  • Pros:
  • 10 Levels of manually adjustable magnetic resistance
  • It’s rated by consumers as one of the best rowing machines with magnetic resistance under $500.
  • Can be stored standing when not in use
  • Assembly video available on Amazon to make the process easy
  • It has aluminum seat rail, non-slip pedals, and a comfortable seat.
  • Cons:
  • Information on the warranty is not available.
  • Basic monitor with no backlit
  • The frame is not foldable
  • There is not present program

5. HouseFit Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine


One of my favorite cheap rowing machines with magnetic resistance is this HouseFit rower. While this budget magnetic rowing machine costs as little as $350, it offers all the benefits of a rowing cardio fitness for non-elite rowers.

The HouseFit is the best home rower with magnetic resistance under $400 but it’s not for all fitness levels. It’s perfect for male and female users who don’t do serious rowing for competition. Considered one of the best buy magnetic rowing machines, it requires little maintenance and it’s near to silent due to belt drive and magnetic resistance mechanism.

There are 14 levels of manually adjustable magnetic resistance levels on this cheap rowing machine. Level 12-14 creates enough force to provide a challenging cardio workout. As for the LCD monitor, it’s non-backlit and very basic. You can track the total count, calories, count per min, and time. Note that it doesn’t track the distance/meter, heart rate, and watts.

HouseFit portable magnetic rowing machine has a grippy padded comfortable U-Shap seat. So, you wouldn’t necessarily need to buy a seat cushion. The handlebar is not lightweight aluminum and it’s not ergonomically shaped/curved but it has a non-slip cover.

This HouseFit is not a folding rowing machine which means you either have to leave the rower the way it is or store it standing (not recommend if you have kids in the house) when it’s not in use. It has transport wheels and a two-step folding design which makes it easy to move it out of the way and store in the closet.

Two other excellent features that put it in the list of the best rowing machines under $500 are the largely textured pedals and aluminum alloy rowing beam. Find out what we like and don’t like about this highly rated top magnetic foldable rowing machine down below.

  • Specs:
  • Assembled dimensions: 64″L x 22″W x 31″H
  • Folded dimensions: 31″L x 22″W x 64″H
  • Max Inseam: 43.5″
  • Max user weight: 300-Lb
  • Unit weight: 50-lb
  • Seat height: 18″
  • Warranty:
  • 1 Year warranty for all the parts
  • Pros:
  • It’s affordable and ranked as the best rowing machine to buy in many rowing machine reviews.
  • Housefit magnetic indoor rower features a durable belt and powerful magnetic resistance.
  • Consumers’ rating is above average for magnetic rowers in this price range.
  • 1 Year free part replacement warranty
  • Cons:
  • The Monitor is not backlit so it’s difficult to see the stats in low light condition.
  • Its monitor doesn’t connect to wireless heart rate straps and doesn’t track distance/meter.
  • The frame of this low-cost magnetic rowing machine is not foldable.

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine


Sunny is one of the best rowing machine brands in terms of affordability and value. The company has grown a lot in the last few years due to manufacturing best value rowing machines and other cardio fitness equipment.

The SF-RW5515 Sunny rowing machine is perhaps the most popular sunny magnetic rowing machine. It has nearly 1000 mostly satisfy reviews on Amazon. Buying this Sunny Health and Fitness magnetic rowing machine is a good choice for beginner users.

Sunny magnetic rowing machine SF-RW5515 features 8 levels of manually adjustable resistance and durable silent belt drive system. But that’s not all, SF-RW5515 Sunny Health and Fitness rowing machine has a fully padded seat, large anti-slip foot pedals, and foldable design.

While it’s considered one of the best rowing machines for home use under $250, it doesn’t have an impressive LDC which is common for this price tag. The console is not backlit, it displays time, count, calories and total count, but doesn’t track distance or heart rate.

The handle has a non-slip cover but it’s nor aluminum neither has an ergonomically curved shape which is hard to find for rowing machines in this price range. The handle is attached by webbing and has a very smooth pull action.

One of the selling factors of this top inexpensive rowing machine is the user height accommodation. This budget top indoor rower can accommodate up to 42 inches inseam length.

Overall it’s one of the best compact rowing machines that offer a decent rowing exercise for one beginner user. To find out more about this best-rated rowing machine, read the most and least favorite features down below.

  • Specs:
  • Assembled dimensions: 82″L x 19″W x 23″H
  • Folded dimensions: 37″L x 19″W x 53″H
  • Max Inseam: 42″
  • Max user weight: 250-Lb
  • Unit weight: 59-lb
  • Seat height: 20″
  • Warranty:
  • 90-Day all parts
  • 3 years frame
  • Pros:
  • Sunny Health and fitness magnetic rowing machine RW5515 accommodates all user heights.
  • This magnetic rower has the foldable design which is good for anyone with little space.
  • It has adjustable non-slip footrests and affordable price.
  • Cons:
  • SF-RW5515 Sunny Health & Fitness magnetic rowing machine doesn’t track meters/distance.
  • The handle is non-slip but it’s a straight bar without an ergonomic shape/curve.
  • Unfortunately, like many other cheap rowing machines, the warranty is short.
  • The slide rail is not made of aluminum.

7. Merax Folding Magnetic Exercise Rower

Merax magnetic rowing machine review

Last but not least is the nice-looking Merax magnetic rowing machine to buy. This magnetic rower has a very compact design that folds for easy storage. But what is really special about this top magnetic rowing machine is the steepness of slide rail and comfy seat.

It has a 15-degree seat angle that adds extra resistance and helps to tone up the lower-body muscles more efficiently than straight leveled beams. When the seat goes forward, it’s downhill but when pulling reverse, it’s going uphill which engages great amount of leg muscles.

The pedals of this rowing machines with magnetic resistance rotate to adjust the position according to your movement. And this rotating reduces the pressure on the ankles. As for the LCD, it’s not great but it’s what you get for the price. You can track time, count, calories and total count but not heart rate or meters/distance.

Merax magnetic resistance rower has 8 Levels of Resistance that switch up the intensity of your rowing workout with the convenient resistance tension knob. With a simple twist, you can increase or decrease resistance. So, your rower workout can remain challenging and effective throughout your rowing fitness workout.

The Merax magnetic rowing machine sale for less than $250 which is a great value for the design, and quality. Magnetic flywheel rowing machine by Merax is good for home use, preferably one user. Note that it’s not the best magnetic rowing machine for elite rowers. When buying magnetic resistance rowing machine by Merax, you will be saving on shipping cost.

  • Specs:
  • Assembled dimensions: 73″L x 1″W x 21″H
  • Folded dimensions: 26″L x 16″W x 49″H
  • Max Inseam: 35″
  • Max user weight: 265-Lb
  • Unit weight: 74-lb
  • Seat height: 15″
  • Warranty:
  • N/A
  • Pros:
  • Merax magnetic resistance rowing machine seat rail has a 15-degree angle for extra efficiency.
  • Know as the best magnetic rower in its price range, it’s a very nice compact design.
  • This top folding magnetic rower takes very little space when it’s not in use.
  • This quiet rowing machine features durable belt and smooth resistance.
  • It’s as affordable as magnetic rowing machine for sale.
  • Cons:
  • The LCD is not backlit and it’s very basic (common for this price tag).
  • Warranty is not available on the Merax magnetic rower.

Magnetic Rowing Machines Pros And Cons:

Magnetic rowers are silent (Pros)

The main selling factor of the magnetic resistance rowing machine is that it makes very little noise similar to magnetic spin bikes. Compared to air rowing machines and water rowing machines, they are remarkably more quiet.

So, if you live in an apartment, buying a magnetic rowing machine will make it possible for you to do a cardio workout without disturbing the neighbors and your partner. To understand better the difference between the air and magnetic system, I recommend you read our comparison.

Require less maintenance (pros)

Magnetic rowing machines don’t require water which means there is no leaking, you don’t need to change the water or use treatment tablets every 6 months. Also when adding or reducing resistance on magnetic rowing machines, the parts don’t come in contact with each other so they don’t wear out.

The magnets either come close or get far from the flywheel to change resistance. All magnetic rowers including the cheap magnetic rowing machines use this very simple rule to change resistance.

More compact (pros)

Magnetic resistance rowers are often more compact compared to water resistance rowing machine and air resistance rower. Due to how magnetic rowing machines work, the drive mechanism is often smaller making it easy to store and use in a small apartment. So, if you don’t have much available space, these small rowing machines are for you.

Affordable (pros)

Buying the best magnetic rowing machines, you will still spend less compared to mid-price indoor water rowers and fan rowing machines. You can gain all the benefits of a rowing machine while spending only $200.

The same goes if you out based out of the US, you can find the best rowing machines in the UK with magnetic resistance and save lots of money and floor space.

Preset workout programs (pros)

Unlike air resistance rowing machine and water rowers, the best magnetic rowing machines featuring electromagnetic system or induction system allow you to set preset programs. The good thing about present programs is that you hop on and start a high intensity or low impact program.

Magnetic rowers are also the best rowing machine to buy if you are told by your doctor to work within a specific heart rate range. The electro rowing machines magnetic system will automatically control the resistance to make sure you don’t exceed the prescribed heart rate.

Fixed resistance (cons)

What it means is that the magnetic rowers don’t respond to how fast or slow you row. Once you set the resistance level, it stays on that level regardless of your speed. But the air and water resistance rowing machines respond to your effort. Meaning even after you set a specific resistance level, they will automatically change the resistance when you row fast.

Air-magnetic rowing machines though, change the resistance base on how you perform. They offer the benefits of fixed-resistance and dynamic resistance.

Less engaging (cons)

When rowing on a single resistance magnetic rower, your entire stroke will always be the same. Meaning it nor mimics the sound neither the resistance of real rowing on the water.

Through the entire stroke, you will feel the same resistance.  Therefore, most elite and intermediate level rowers find it boring and not as encouraging as water and air rowers.

Less accurate computers (cons)

Depending on how much you invest to buy a magnetic resistance rowing machine, the computer varies from very basic to high-end which can be pretty advanced in terms of preset programs and games.

However, they are proven not to calculate the drag being applied as accurate as of the air resistance rowers. And that’s totally fine if you are not an elite rower or don’t do serious indoor rowing competitions.

Benefits of rowing machines:

Upper body workout

One of the key benefits of indoor rowing machine is whole-body exercise. Unlike spinning and other types of indoor exercise bikes such as recumbent or upright bike, top rowing machines offer a full-body workout. Rowing exercise engages a total of 87% of muscles, compared to 45% from biking or running. Using good air, water or magnetic rower, you will immediately feel an excellent lower and upper body workout.

Some of the areas that rowing exercise works are your shoulders, upper back, lats, and biceps. Doing a regular rowing machine exercise will also help you develop a strong core. And since you are required to maintain a grip on the bars, you will also build stronger wrists and hands.

Lower body workout

One of the top benefits of using a rowing machine is the lower body workout. Rowing exercise targets some of the most muscle groups on your legs. Doing regular good rowing machine workout, you can expect remarkable improvements in your quads, thighs, glutes, and calves.

Easy to use

You don’t need a trainer to benefit from rowing machine because they are pretty straightforward. All you need to remember is to keep your back straight and do leg-arm arm-leg. An indoor rowing machine also doesn’t require adjustment.

So, as soon as buy the rowing machine and it’s assembled, you can jump on the seat and start counting calories burned in a rowing machine.

Low-impact and for everyone

Beginners, elite, old and young, they can all use a good rowing machine. Cheap rowing machine or professional rowing machine, they all provide low impact workout compared to some other indoor exercise machines such as spin bike and treadmill. Rowing reduces joint stress, improve bone density, and increase overall workout effectiveness.

Best rowing machines feature a large cushioned seat that can be almost as comfortable and supportive as your desk chair. So, you are going to be in a comfy seat position when burning calories on rowers. Rowing workout also doesn’t require leaning forward or taking your feet of the machine as spinning and treadmill do. Therefore, the impact is very little.

Cardio and Strength

Another rowing machine benefit includes the cardio and strength workout. Unlike many other types of indoor exercise equipment, you can enjoy the cardio rowing machine benefits and tone muscles.

In addition to cardio, muscle strength and toning benefits, resistance training on a rowing machine also helps you improve your balance and flexibility. So, the answer to “can rowing machine build muscle” is yes, as long as it’s one of the best home rowing machines with a good resistance system.

Easy to store and portable

Best home rowing machines are often foldable and easy to store compared to ellipticals, treadmills, spin bikes, or recumbents. When not in use, folding rowing machines can be stored vertically in a closet, behind a curtain or corner of the room. And even if you don’t buy a compact folding rowing machine, you can still store it standing and use very little space.

Buying the best compact rowing machine, you would usually only need 2 square feet to store the rower after use. Both collapsible rowing machines and non-fold away rowing machines have transport wheels which offer easy portability. And since compact rowing machines are often lightweight, anyone in the house can move them out of the way.

Weight loss

An expensive concept 2 or a cheap rowing machine, they are all designed to help you tone muscles and burn calories. An indoor rowing working machine workout burns an average of 900 calories an hour. And that’s relatively more calories than you would burn on some other home gym equipment.

The reason for that is the total body cardio exercise that a rower offers. And if you combine a healthy diet with rowing machine exercise, you will reach your fitness goals easier and faster.


Magnetic Rowing Machine Buying Guide


ElectroMagnetic Rowers

There are two different types of magnetic braking systems. The manual, and the electromagnetic resistance.

Rather than turning a knob manually, you will push a button to change the resistance. The good thing about electro-magnetic rowing machine is that they are more precise. They also automatically change resistance on certain programs to make the exercise more challenging and fun.

For instance, if you choose a preset program that has downhill and uphill, the resistance will change automatically according to the terrain. Another awesome feature electromagnetic resistance rowing machine is that you can select to exercise on a certain heart rate range.

Meaning you can set a program with maximum and minimum heart rate, then the rowing machine will control the resistance to make sure you stay within that heart rate range. The best magnetic rowing machines are electromagnetic. In this magnetic rowing machine reviews, there is one electro-magnetic rowing machine is included.

Manual Magnetic Rowers

A rowing machine that has a knob, dial, lever or anything else other than the button is manual magnetic. Unlike the electromagnetic system, manuals don’t need to be plugged into the wall. That means you will be using less electricity and can exercise wherever you want in the house. The downside to the manual magnetic system is that it’s not as precise as electromagnetic and it doesn’t change the resistance automatically.

Meaning when you select a preset program, the resistance will stay the same throughout the program. Almost 80% of magnetic quiet rowing machines feature the manual system which makes them more affordable compared electro-magnetic indoor rowers.

Rower Inseam length

When buying portable rowing machines one of the most important factors to look check the user height capacity. How far the seat travels on the beam decides the user height accommodation.

The seat on the best home rowing machines travels from one end to the other end 36″ to 39″ which can accommodate up to 6’8″ tall users.

Keep in mind that if the seat doesn’t travel long enough on the beam, you are not going to be able to get a full leg extension when doing rowing machine workout.

Therefore, you will not gain all the rowing machine benefits. When buying magnetic rowing machines, consider your partner’s height as well.

Magnetic Rower Foldability

Some people are under impression that all the magnetic rowing machines can be folded away, but that’s not correct. So, if have little space in the house and looking for folding rowing machine, make sure to see if they can actually fold up. We included some of the best fold-up rowing machines in this rowing buying guide.

Weight Capacity of Indoor Rower

When buying home rower or any other type of indoor exercise machines, double-check and see if they can accommodate your weight and height. The more weight capacity indicates the sturdiness of exercise rowers.

So, when reading our rowing machine reviews, check the specs to make sure your favorite magnetic rowing machine can support you and your partner’s weight.

Magnetic Rowing Machine Price

Rowing machine prices are dictated by the features and quality. It also sometimes varies based on where you buy magnetic rowing machines. Some third-party retailers might have a magnetic rowing machine for sale which obviously costs less. But in general, a rowing machine’s price starts at $100 and goes all the way to $3000+.

As for where to buy a rowing machine, we strongly recommend Amazon. There are loads of options and from time to time you might find rowing machine for sale and highly discounted.

Warranty and shipping

The longer the warranty, the higher the quality. When buying exercise equipment rowing machines consider the warranty terms as a sign of quality. The best buy rowing machines often feature up to 5 years of warranty on parts and lifetime on frame.

Exercise equipment shipping can be crazy sometimes since they are heavy and bulky. So, to avoid surprises, double-check the shipping policy or fitness equipment before buying. To make it easy for you, below each magnetic rower review in this guide, we included the shipping and warranty terms.

Brands and customer services

This is perhaps one of the main reasons, that most people buy stationary rowing machines from reputable brands. Because they honor their warranty and offer excellent customer services. Cheap brands, on the other hand, make too difficult to get in touch with them so that you give up.

And when you are finally able to establish a communication line, they will make any excuse not to honor their warranty. Therefore, if you can afford, we highly recommend you to consider to buy the best indoor rowing machine from good gym equipment brands.

Some of the featured silent rowing machines in this review are from high-end brands in North-America. They offer good support and stand with their products.

Indoor Rower Drive-System

Quality rowing machines can be either belt or chain. The difference is that a chain requires more maintenance (cleaning, adjusting, oiling, etc) and makes more noise compared to the belt.

And if you are looking to find a magnetic rowing machine, it’s clear that you want a low-maintenance and quiet indoor rowing. So, look for ergometer rowing machines that have a belt rather than the chain.

Best rowing technique

magnetic rowing machine pedals

The best way to use a rowing machine is to remember the leg-arm and arm-legs rowing machine technique. The rowing exercise is consists of two parts referred to as drive and recovery. When you pull back is the drive and when you go forward is the recovery.

To make sure you are practicing the best technique for rowing machines follow these steps from the start point also known as the catch position.

Keep your back 10 degrees leaned forward and your hands stretched horizontally and slid forward until your shins are vertical. This is the start position.

Now you can begin to go back by pressing with the legs until they are stretched fully, then lean your back 10 degrees toward the rear of the rower and then pull the handles into the body. The next step is to reverse the order of all these movements to go forward.

Seat and handlebars

exercise rowing machine seat

The best rowing machine workouts are possible only if you are comfortable and your exercise rowing machine has an ergonomic design. Two important factors that make a home gym rowing machine ergonomic are the seat and handlebars. So, look for an ergonomically designed seat with sufficient cushioning when buying a rowing machine for home use.

Also look for durable rollers system because they are the key factor in creating a smooth operation. Try to avoid rowing machine deals with plastic rollers. Last but not least, make sure the height of the seat is easy to get on and off. If you don’t have a good balance, the seats closer to the ground are safer for you. Our rowing machine reviews include a few cheap indoor rowing machines with cushioned short seats.

Some cheap rowing machines for sale that you might find on the market have basic straight handgrips that have no shape. They often add stress on your wrist and don’t allow strong grips. So, when buying an inexpensive rowing machine, make sure the handle is ergonomically designed for low-stress grip and to allow you to fully draw in the handle into your body for a better arm workout.

Rowing computer

magnetic rower computer

Rowing machine computers vary based on how much you can invest. Based on how advanced the computer is, the number of preset programs, rowing games, and connectivity vary. We suggest you look for monitors that have USB or Bluetooth connective and backlit so it’s easy to see the stats in the dark.

USB connectivity allows you to save your daily stats for monthly progress comparison. And the Bluetooth connection allows you to join online rowing racing apps to compete with other rowers on the web and share your progress on social platforms.

Keep in mind that you can ea expect high-end touchscreen monitor only when buying pricey commercial rowing machines. So, when you are looking for rowing machines cheap deals, don’t expect touch-screen wireless-enabled computers. Most of the best rowing machine under $1000 come with LED and backlit monitors which usually don’t have a wireless connection.

Rowing Machine Types:


Magnetic Rowers

When it comes to choosing a rowing machine the magnetic rowers are the primary choice for individuals who hate excessive noise during the workout. The magnetic rowing machines are designed with quiet resistance mechanisms that help you not to disturb your neighbor and clearly listen to music.

As for the price, the magnetic rowing machine cost can vary based on the features. Often air-magnetic rowers are more expensive because they provide two types of resistance options. Note: Every rower in this home rowing machine reviews are magnetic or air-magnetic.

  • It’s near to silent (pros)
  • Requires little maintenance (pros)
  • They are affordable (pros)
  • Fixed resistance, unless it’s air-magnetic dual resistance (con)

Water rowing machines

Providing resistance through the water, these rowers offer the physical and mental benefits of rowing. During the workout, you will be seeing and hearing water sound which makes it more similar to outdoor rowing.

Elite rowers often prefer using the best water rowing machines. If you decide to go for a water rowing machine, keep in mind that they require extra maintenance and they are not as quiet as magnetic rowers.

  • Offers physical and mental benefits of real rowing (pros)
  • Resistance automatically responds to your efforts (pros)
  • Requires water treatment and extra care (cons)
  • It’s relatively loud (cons)
  • Often very expensive (cons)

Air Rowers

The most popular rowers are the air rowing machines because they require less maintenance than water rowers and provide responsive resistance that automatically changes based on your speed. The bad news is that air rowing machines are loud.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about fixing a leaking tank or changing water. If the noise is not an issue, we recommend an air rower, especially the Concept 2 rowers. They can offer decades of cardiovascular workout for you and your family.

  • Responsive resistance (pros)
  • More Challenging resistance (pros)
  • Very little maintenance (pros)
  • Affordable Price (pros)
  • Air rowers are loud (cons)

Indoor Rowing Accessories and Clothing:

Equipment Mat

When using a magnetic rower or any other exercise machine, you create a vibration that causes noise and often scratches the floor. We recommend you to consider buying an exercise rowing machine mat with your magnetic rowing machine.

Knee Pad

Indoor rowing exercise can sometimes cause pain in the upper knees, especially if you had surgeries. We highly suggest considering buying two knee support braces.

Rowing Gloves

Rowing workout makes your hand sweaty and often slippery which is not safe and comfortable. When buying the best magnetic rowing machine reviewed here and on the web, we recommend you consider a certain rowing clothings including a pair of protective rowing gloves.

Rowing Machine Seat Cushion

Some users experience tailbone pain when exercising on the rowing machine. Buy the best rowing machine for you, test it and see if it’s needs padding. Or you can buy the thick memory foam rowing machine cushion with your rower at the same time

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.