The Best Rowing Machines for At-Home Workouts

If noise is an issue, you may want to stay away from air rowers with fans, as they tend to be louder. If price or maintenance is a concern, you may want to opt for an air-based or magnetic rower, both of which tend to be less costly and easier to maintain than water rowers, whose water tanks require regular cleanings and refills. Just know that each has a slightly different sensation, so the choice may ultimately come down to which feel you prefer.

Additional Features

Technological add-ons like activity tracking, workout programs, and live classes can be a major upgrade for your home rowing routine. If you’re interested in that kind of experience, look for a machine that comes with clear, large display screens, Bluetooth connectivity for your wearables and devices, or class membership options.

On the other hand, if you think too many bells and whistles will be distracting (or you’re just using an indoor rower as a placeholder until you can get back out on the water), you may prefer a more stripped-down version that puts the focus on your workout with an overall ease of use. “Only you will know what it will take to become more competitive with yourself and what fuels your motivation,” ACSM-certified personal trainer, rowing coach, and former elite rower Maria Brezler tells SELF.

The best indoor rowing machines

We talked to coaches and certified trainers and looked at our own SELF Certified reviews and Home Fitness Award–winners to find excellent home rowers that mimic the feeling of being on the water (even when you haven’t left the comfort of your home gym or living room). “At the end of the day, the best rowing machine for you is the one that keeps you coming back for more,” Hansen says. Read on to find the options out there that will—fingers crossed—do just that.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • 1

    Best Overall: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower

    If there’s one rower to rule them all, it’s the Concept2 RowErg, which appeals to pretty much anyone with a real interest in rowing. Its design is size-inclusive, durable, and easy to put together upon arrival. Whether you’re a pro or a newcomer, you’ll more than likely love using this machine. Case in point: Retired Olympic rower and World Rowing champion Eric Murray used a Concept2 to train while competing, and now, as an Asensei online rowing coach, he trains other people on it.

    “Concept2 is the standard bearer for all serious rowers around the world; it’s totally old school,” Alison Townley, two-time Olympian in rowing and board member for the National Rowing Foundation, tells SELF. Like many pro rowers, she appreciates how basic this machine is, with just a performance monitor that measures time, pace, stroke rate, distance, and watts. With this simplicity comes impressive longevity. “Many machines are still going 20, 30, and more years later, and Concept2’s customer service is unparalleled in the rare case you do have an issue,” Sarah Fuhrmann, author of 101 Best Rowing Workouts and owner of UCanRow2, tells SELF.

    • Membership and app options: This rower can pair with ErgData, a free app that allows you to track progress and create interval workouts. It can also sync with Strava, or fitness trackers like Garmin and Apple Watch. For a paid option that includes coaches and workout programs, you can pair the machine with Asensei, which is $20 per month.
    • Length: 95 inches
    • Weight capacity: 500 pounds
  • 2

    Best for Classes: Hydrow Rower

    • SELF Certified rating: 9/10

    Perhaps you’ve done enough rowing workouts to know that you like them, but not so much that you feel confident enough to row on your own. That’s where having the option to follow a class or program comes in handy. The SELF-certified Hydrow has hundreds of guided classes, both live and on-demand, with top-tier instructors available through its membership program. The machine also includes a 22-inch touchscreen display, front-facing speakers, and a drag mechanism that the brand designed to mimic the pull of real oars. Our tester considered it an excellent investment: “As a rowing newbie, I really enjoyed immersing myself in a totally new world and feeling supported along the way by experienced but friendly, down-to-earth instructors who led me through some stunning destinations.”

    • Membership and app options: You can access the all-inclusive Hydrow membership for $44 a month, which includes live and on-demand classes for rowing, strength training, yoga, Pilates, and more.
    • Length: 86 inches
    • Weight capacity: 375 pounds

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