Best Rowing Machine Seat Cushions For A Painless Exercise

Rowing is one of the best exercises you can do, especially when done with comfortable rowing seat pads. It works your entire body while still being low impact. For those who can’t get out to row on the water, there are a variety of indoor and outdoor machines with different types of resistance for different preferences. It’s amazing that you can get such a great workout all from a seated position. Whether you’re on a machine or out on a lake, there are three points of contact that you maintain throughout your strokes.

Firstly, your hands on the oars or handle of the machine. That’s probably the one you think of the most which is why you need the best rowing gloves to have a comfortable firm grip. Secondly, your feet. This contact is more important while using a machine. You need to make sure your feet are strapped correctly, you are wearing the right rowing shoes, and that your machine is set to the right size to avoid any slipping.

The last point of contact, and the one that should have the most consideration, is the rower seat. Rowing can accommodate various people of different sizes. Some may prefer a softer rowing seat cushion, while others may want a firmer, more solid feel. The contouring of the seat may play a role as well. While some want a more cradled sensation, others will want more cushion.

It really comes down to preference and since the rower’s seat is bearing your weight through the whole workout, it’s vital that you feel comfortable or your rowing experience won’t be as productive as it should be. Choosing the best rowing machine seat cushion may impact how long you can do your rowing exercises and alter how you feel after. With this out of the way, let’s see the most comfortable rowing machine seat pads for this year.

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Best Rowing Machine Seat Cushion Comparison

Best Rowing Machine Seat Cushions Review and Comparison
NameSizeThicknessPaddingUnderside
Home and Row Gel Seat Cushion for Rowing13.5" W x 10.25" L1.4 InchesGelNon-slip (without straps)
Home and Row Foam Rowing Machine Seat Cushion14" W x 11" L1.2 InchesFoamWith straps and string
Hornet Watersports Rowing Machine Cushion12.5" W x 9.75" L0.65 InchesSilicon and NeopreneNon-slip (without straps)
Hornet Watersports Portable Rowing Cushion11.3" W x 8.94" L0.5 InchesFoamNon-slip (without straps)
Domain Extra Large Gel Rower Seat Cushion15.5" W x 11.5" L1 IncheGel and FoamNon-slip (with straps)
ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Rower Seat Cushion17.5" W x 13.7" L2.8 InchesGel and Memory FoamNon-slip (without straps)
2K Fit Concept 2 Rowing Seat Cushion Model 213.3" W x 9.9" L3 InchesMemory FoamNon-slip (with straps)
2K Fit Rowing Machine Seat Cushion Model 112.7" W x 9.8" L2.5 InchesMemory FoamNon-slip (without straps)
SKWOOSH Classic Kayak Paddling Gel Seat Pad16" W x 13" L0.8 InchesGelNon-slip (without straps)
SKWOOSH Dragon Indoor Rower Gel Seat Pad12" W x 8" L0.5 InchesGelNon-slip (without straps)

Best Overall: Home & Row

Home-and-Row-gel-rowing-seat-cover

After trying several rowing machine cushions, I think the Home and Row is the best overall rowing machine seat because it has an ergonomic design and gel padding and is extremely well-built. It has the right amount of padding to provide the needed support and not affect my rowing performance.

The best rowing machine seat pad largely depends on what your priorities are. Some need a firmer, denser rowing seat pad and others need comfort to alleviate pressure.

Taking the time to think about what you’re looking for will help you to settle which one is the best rowing machine seat cushion for you, and you may want to try a few different styles before settling.

Whether it’s indoors on a machine or outside on the water, your seat cushion must fit your needs. Some may have sciatica and need a cushion that will take the weight off their spine, and some may simply want a thin layer of extra padding to make it more comfortable.

Many make the mistake of thinking that soft seats will be the answer to all their sitting problems, but that’s not always the case. Rowing is a great exercise for a wide variety of people, each at different levels. It only makes sense that their needs are different as well and they use the right rower accessories for their needs.

Quick Overview of Top Indoor Rower Seat Pads:

Home and Row Premium Gel Seat Cushion

This one will work with a variety of machines and equipment but isn’t quite as large as some of the other options out there. There are no straps to keep it in place, but instead, it has a grippy silicon rubber underside that would make sure you stay in place no matter the intensity. l slipped some while using.

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out for yourself. It’s a solid black cushion with a shape to give spine relief. It has specific indentations/curves that give additional support for the spinal cord and sit bones.

Because this cushion has a quality gel instead of foam, they didn’t need to add 3″ of paddings, they only used 1.4″ so it doesn’t present the same issue as the other thicker options on this list. You are not going to find yourself sitting too high on your machine or having to adjust your equipment’s built-in seat to accommodate.

The Home & Row rowing seat cushion is 13.5” by 10.25” and 1.4″ (35mm thick), making it great for rowing exercise and most average-size users but at the same time too small for some seating needs such as in an office chair.

In the box, it was written it’s designed for Concept 2 rowers, Hydrow rowers, and WaterRower but it can be used on pretty much any rowing machine on the market from air to water and magnetic resistance models. It’s because it doesn’t have zippers, straps, or strings to limit where you can put the cushion.

When you are not using the seat, you can put it in the white bag that comes with the cushion. And because it doesn’t have straps, it’s pretty easy to remove the pad for cleaning the rower or the actual cushion.

Positive
  • This seat cushion is shaped with a dip for spinal relief.
  • No straps or strings to allow for easy padding removal and cleaning.
  • Premium gel paddings which are superior to other rowing seats.
  • Excellent attention to detail and exceptional overall quality.
Negatives
  • It’s not as large as some of the other seat pads on this list, making it harder to use for non-exercise seating needs.
  • A little more expensive than other options.

Home and Row Foam Rowing Machine Seat Cushion

This one is another seat cushion catering to the Model E and D Concept 2 rowing machine but you could use it on other rowing machines as well if the dimensions of your rower’s seat are around the same as the ones on Concept 2.

The top, sides, and bottom are black in color and although it is not memory foam, so far seem pretty sturdy and comfortable. This foam rower seat cushion has adjustable straps to make sure it stays in place during those more rigorous workouts.

You will be able to easily use it for a wide variety of seated needs, and although it’s designed with one rowing machine in mind, it can be used on almost any machine. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a dip or indentation like the Home and Rower Gel which I tried and reviewed above this product.

So, you don’t get as good tailbone relief as the gel version. It’s a flat cushion without dip so if you have back or hemorrhoids issues, you might feel a bit uncomfortable but at the same time more comfortable than the hard seat of the Concept2 rowers if that makes sense.

I did feel it was a little too soft and at 1.2″ thickness, it is not as dense as some other rowing machine seat cushions I reviewed. But I still prefer this over 3″ cushions because those thick ones can really minimize efficiency, and ultimately lower performance and altered your seating for workouts.

Aside from the fact that it’s a flat cushion without ergonomic indentation, its cover is also not removable so when it gets dirty or sweaty, you will have to wash the whole thing. It would have been great if its cover was removable and preferably mesh to allow more airflow.

It’s a fairly large size of 14” by 11”, but is medium thick at 1.2″ (30mm). I like its wider size and I think it’s great for users with bigger sit bones but other than compatible rowing machines like Concept2 D and E, you probably can’t use it on other equipment because it has straps and has to fit the seat.

Positive
  • This medium cushion offers a good amount of performance.
  • Straps and string to keep the seat in place during rowing workouts.
  • Good price and overall good quality.
Negatives
  • I found the Home & Row seat cushion to be too soft.
  • The low thickness may also be a problem for some users, especially those who are heavier.
  • The bottom of the cushion is not grippy and only has the straps+string to keep the cover in place.

Hornet Silicone Rowing Machine Cushion

Another seat cushion from Hornet Watersports, who make some of the top home rower seat cushions available, this one is thinner than the previous entry on this list at 0.65 (16mm) and is made from SBR and neoprene, making it denser and less soft.

Because this concept 2 seat pad is smaller, it won’t be the best for use on chairs and some felt that it was too small for the exercise equipment they wanted to use it with. While it’s designed primarily for the Concept 2 indoor rowing machine, it will adequately fit a variety of machines.

I think it’s a little too thin and small, but I know many who used the cushion felt it was perfect for their needs and liked how unlike thicker cushions, this one doesn’t make you sit so much higher than your equipment’s built-in seat.

It’s also smaller, and may not fit as well for uses other than exercise equipment at only 11.5” by 9”. There is a money-back guarantee with this one, and it also has a non-slip bottom to make sure it stays in place as you workout and move around.

Even sleeker looking than the other Hornet Seat Cushion, this one is also solid black. The SBR and neoprene makes this one denser than the previous one, making the 16mm thickness fine for cushioning.

Positive
  • These seat indoor rower seat cushions are made from a dense material that will hold up to extended use and won’t flatten out like some of the softer options out there.
  • There’s a money-back guarantee when you purchase this seat cushion, showing high satisfaction.
  • Grippy surface on both sides so you don’t slip on the seat while rowing.
Negatives
  • This Hornet Seat Cushion may be too small for some uses, mostly with non-exercise seating needs.
  • The thinness and the density may not be soft enough for some who needed some more cushion or shock absorption while they workout.
  • It doesn’t offer much in the way of spinal relief as it has little in the way of tailbone contouring.

Hornet Portable Rowing Foam Cushion

This sleek looking, solid black rowing seat cushion can be used for practically any water, air, or magnetic rowing exercise machine but will not serve adequately as an office or other type of chair cushion, easily being one of the top indoor rower seat pads.

It’s not as large as some of the cushions mentioned in this rowing seat pad reviews, which may work better for some uses. In fact, it’s the smallest rowing seat cushion I have ever tried. Because of its light and compact foldable design, I carried in my gem bag and used it a couple of times in the fitness center I regularly go to.

It has an anti-slip bottom to keep it in place but I think this Hornet Watersports seat cushion was a bit too thin at 05″ (12.7mm), making it less comfortable with less support compared to the Home & Row rowing machine seat cover I mentioned first in this article.

It’s also not as grippy as the Hornet silicon rower seat cushion I reviewed above and when you pull hard, it slides a bit, but it’s still more stable and durable than super thick seat covers that you often see on the market for air rowing machines like Concept2 Model E or Marcy.

But in general, how stable the cushion is can be dependent on what exercise machine you are using the cushion with. Something like stationary bikes where you lift out of the seat may allow it to move, while rowing probably won’t have that issue.

It’s made from foam and is 11.03” wide by 8.94” long. There’s not a lot of shape to it like what you see on Home & Row or Domain rowing machine seat cushions so you can’t expect to get the same level of butt and tailbone comfort from this specific Hornet cushion that you would get for the later models. Its thickness at 0.” (12.7mm) makes it thinnest rowing machine seat cushion I have ever tried.

Positive
  • Minimum thickness, making it less likely to reduce your efficiency and performance.
  • It’s a compact cushion and you can carry it to your gym in case you don’t have a rowing machine at home.
  • It’s easy to wash and keep clean and it fits pretty much all rowing machines.
Negatives
  • You might find it uncomfortable because of the minimum foam density.
  • It may not offer much relief for those who need tailbone relief, as there is little contoured shape to it.
  • Small and can’t be used for some non-exercise seating needs.

Domain Extra Large Gel Rower Seat Cushion

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Gel has been used to make things more comfortable for a while now, from shoe insoles to knee pads, and the same goes for exercise equipment seat covers. The Domain model is the best rowing seat pad you can find.

It has a non-slip bottom to keep it in place while you exercise and a drawstring design to keep it snug on your equipment’s seat. It also has a lifetime money-back guarantee, proving how great it is for long term use.

Some reviewers said they wanted it to be thicker. However, it’s designed to be stiffer and offer support. There were also complaints about it not fitting correctly on certain equipment, mostly exercise stationary bikes.

The Domain Seat Cushion Cover is a larger size at 15.5” by 11.5” to accommodate all machine seats as well as add cushion and support to office chairs and car seats. About 25 mm in thickness, the Domain seat isn’t going to just flatten out over time like some cheaper gel cushion products, though because it is gel it will still compress.

Positive
  • The Domain Seat Cushion Cover is a large size to cover all seating needs.
  • The stiffer gel cushion is effective at offering great cushioning while staying clean.
  • It can work for almost every type of seating you need more cushion.
Negatives
  • Gel compresses over long periods of non-stop pressure.
  • The Domain Seat Cushion is thinner than what some people want.

ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Rower Seat Cushion

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This is another awesome rowing gel seat pad, but this one is combined with memory foam. While the Domain Cycling Extra Large Gel Exercise Bike Seat Cushion Cover had a groove for spine relief, this one takes it a step further for better tailbone relief making it great for those with sciatica issues.

Some users didn’t like the elevated portion on the front half of the middle, and some thought it flattened too easily, no doubt because of the softer cushion. There was also one user who pointed out that the metal zipper will ruin any nicer surface you put it on, such as a leather desk chair.

This seat cushion will work on just as many seats as the Domain Seat Cushions, and at 17.6” by 13.8” it’s actually bigger. The thickness is at 63.5mm, which might make it too big to comfortably fit on smaller seats, but even better for uses outside of exercise equipment. The company offers a lifetime warranty, showing that the majority of users have been satisfied. It has a washable, light gray cover for a softer look.

Positive
  • This cushion uses both gel and memory foam to contour and cushion as you sit.
  • The ComfLife Seat Cushion has great spinal support with an indented shape.
  • ComfLife offers a lifetime warranty for their cushions.
Negatives
  • This is a softer cushion, and not as stiff as some other options.
  • There is an elevated section that may not be comfortable for some.
  • The ComfLife Seat Cushion may be too large for some uses, such as on smaller equipment seats.

2K Fit Concept 2 Rowing Seat Cushion Model 2

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This seat cushion is a fairly basic design, with a solid black, washable cover and a dip on one side to give some spinal relief. The 2K Fit Seat Cushion is almost the exact same size as the Kohree Seat Cushion, but lacks the breathable mesh top.

Just like the Kohree, the thickness may not work for some, especially those on the shorter side as it increases how much you need to stretch, but for those who plan on using it for long periods or for those who need that extra softness, it will be a great seat cushion to use.

This cushion is 13” wide by 9.25” deep, making it only slightly larger than the Kohree Seat Cushion. It’s also the same thickness, at 76.2mm, so this can easily be used for all the same purposes as the Kohree Seat Cushion. It has a non-slip material with straps so it stays where you want it, and is made with a dense memory foam.

Positive
  • This is a thick memory foam that offers great cushion and comfort for long workouts.
  • There are straps to keep it in place so you don’t have to worry about it sliding around.
  • The 2K Fit Seat Cushion is a shape that offers backbone relief with a dip on one side.
Negatives
  • May be too thick for some users, causing them to sit higher than preferred.

2K Fit Rowing Machine Seat Cushion Model 1

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This was the predecessor to the previous entry on this list, but it’s still a great option one. It’s a solid black color and has a non-slip surface and is designed for rowing machines. It will definitely fit on a variety of exercise equipment.

While the cover is washable, it doesn’t remove from the cushion, and some complained that after several uses the memory foam cushion would compress too quickly and lose its comfort. Despite that, both 2K Fit seat pads for rowing machines are designed by Division 1 College Rowers, so you know they had real rowers in mind.

The description says this Concept 2 rower seat pad is between 50.8mm and 76mm, but doesn’t specify exactly how thick. It’s also smaller than the previous entry, at only 12” by 9”, making it less useful for purposes outside of workouts and only slightly bigger than the Hornet Watersports Anti Slip Rowing Machine Cushion. Once again, a dense memory foam is used for this cushion.

Positive
  • This one is slightly thinner than the Model 2, so those who felt the Model 2 was too thick should like the Model 1.
  • Has a shape that will help with spine support with an indention on the back for tailbone relief.
Negatives
  • Many thought this seat cushion flattened too quickly, making those longer workouts more uncomfortable.
  • The Model 1 2K Fit Seat Cushion is smaller than some of the other options available and won’t work for some seating uses.

SKWOOSH Classic Kayak Paddling Gel Seat Pad

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If you want to get outside and on real water instead of only using an indoor rowing machine, you may want to try the SKWOOSH Seat Cushion. This is a gel cushion that’s lightweight and breathable. It’s waterproof and can fit most kayak seats, but can be brought inside.

Although it may be too wide for some exercise equipment seats, it can fit some and can also serve as an added layer of cushion for office and other chairs. One reviewer said they preferred an older model of this water rower seat pads, and there were some who felt that the thin gel didn’t do nearly enough for what they needed.

SKWOOSH uses their own patented gel and their products are made in the USA. The solid black mesh surface allows airflow and this seat can be folded to pack away or carry with you. It’s far thinner at 22.8mm than most of the entries on this list, but that makes it useful in different ways. It’s also larger, at 16” by 13”.

Positive
  • The SKWOOSH is thin and easily portable, making it easier to take to the lake or on trips.
  • It has a breathable mesh top that allows airflow and dries out quickly.
  • This rowing cushion utilizes patented gel technology from the company that doesn’t simply squish down as some cheaper gel products do.
Negatives
  • This will be too thin for some uses, and if you need a cushion for tailbone relief this seat pad won’t help.
  • There were some reviewers that claimed this cushion compressed too much for their liking.

SKWOOSH Dragon Indoor Rower Gel Seat Pad

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The final entry on this list is another SKWOOSH outdoor rowing seat cushion. This one comes in four colors, blue, pink, red, and black for the best variety of any seat cushion on this list, and has a useful loop for easy transport.

Made for dragon boats, it’s far smaller than the other SKWOOSH cushion, and will not be much use for anything but what it’s designed for, or perhaps for children.

This erg seat pad has the highest percentage of negative ratings, but many of those seem to be needing it for other uses than what it was intended for. This does seem to be a one-purpose cushion, and it’s a poor cushion at that since it’s far too thin to offer much in the way of support or softness.

At only 12” by 8”, it also has less cushion that’s merely 12.7mm in thickness. This is a very small seat cushion, but it does use the gel technology that the other SKWOOSH cushion has, and it’s also made in the USA.

Positive
  • This seat cushion is small and convenient to carry, especially on longer trips or to fit in smaller packs.
  • It uses a patented gel technology for cushioning.
Negatives
  • These seat pads are almost nothing in regards to cushion.
  • Because of how small the SKWOOSH Dragon Boat Gel seat pads for rowing machines are, they are not good for much other than what they are intended for.

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.

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