Looking for the best rowing machine to suit your at-home workout schedule? Then you're in the right place, as we have a range of top-rated machines based on factors from price to resistance. A rowing machine is an ideal pick for anyone who wants to tone or build muscle but also wants a lower-impact workout to preserve their health, way into the future.
With the best rowing machine in your home gym, garage, or spare room, you can get your head down and burn those all-important calories. Different rowing machines run on various types of resistance; air, water, or manual and will also have a range of resistance levels to sweat your way through. Don't worry if you're just getting started with rowing, as we've also included excellent options for beginners too.
The best rowing machine for you will be the one that meets all your needs, including your budget. It's also worth considering how easy your favourite option is to store away so that you can factor in how easy it'll be to get your home looking great again after a workout.
For more on how to get your fitness levels peaking, check out our guide to the best home gym equipment picks in our buyer's guide.
The best rowing machines
If you’re looking for a rower the whole family can use, consider this Concept2 model: the footrests are easy to adjust to each new user’s height, and after watching their metrics tick along on the LCD display, they can pop a USB stick into the port and upload their individual workout data to a computer. More than that, it’s easy to see how the world’s best-selling indoor rower has earned that accolade, offering a supremely smooth ride and a handle comfortable enough to hold through even the longest workouts. If you’re not seduced by the unusual looks of the Oxbridge (or are, but can’t quite stretch to it), this is a very worthy runner-up.
Coming in at just under £200, the JLL R200 is a great budget model. It’s sturdier and considerably more solid than most machines at this end of the price range, but is still easy to fold down or move using the wheels at the base if space is too limited to have it out permanently, and the pedals and foam-filled padded seat are comfortable enough to use for long periods of time. The ten levels of magnetic resistance may not be enough for more experienced rowers — for that matter, if you are an experienced rower, you’ll wish to go for something with more frills — but if you’re just starting out or won’t be in your home gym all day every day, it’s a superb buy. The best rowing machine for beginners, we think.
The Echelon Row is a high-quality smart home rowing machine that will change your exercise routine forever, pushing you to work harder every time you use it. It's designed to make a minimal fuss in your home too, with a space-saving foldable design and built-in wheels. Choose from 32 levels of resistance while tuning into the Echelon app that allows you to challenge other users. Purchasing an Echelon Smart Rower is worth it for anyone who wants the motivation of group workouts which you can access with a membership, with the only downside being that this comes with an extra fee.
If you're on a budget but still want to ensure the rowing machine you opt for is high quality, then the PROFORM R600 is the one for you. Built to last with its sleek, stylish design, you can power through your workouts with the adjustable resistance, and track how you're getting on with the LCD display. As well as ensuring a full-body workout, this rower is designed to be comfortable with a moulded seat and ergonomic handle. For less than £500, you'll have a machine that allows you to do it all within the comfort of your home and be sure that you're investing in a quality-made product that you can trust.
This manual rower from Opti is definitely the best affordable option, should you be after something budget-friendly. It boasts 12 levels of tension control, and it even has console feedback to tell you how many strokes you've done, how many minutes you've spent, how many calories you've burned and more. Boasting a faux leather seat and adjustable feet straps, it's suitable for everyone, no matter your height. Though it does have a maximum user weight of 100kg. Work your arms, legs and abs, and then fold it away after use. It's even on wheels to make storing easier job.
The JTX Freedom’s name is a big giveaway – it has a small footprint and a light, foldable frame, giving you the freedom to move around, and an impressive eight different training programmes for the freedom to own your own workout, no PT required. The display offers lots of options for tracking your exercise, including speed, stroke, revolutions, and even, thanks to the included chest strap, heart rate. Hundreds of pounds cheaper than the WaterRower Oxbridge or Concept2 Model D, it understandably doesn’t boast quite as much functionality as a higher-end rower, but for a great value, smooth and versatile machine, the Air Rower can’t be beat.
How to buy the best rowing machine
The main difference between machines that may not be immediately obvious (excluding things like size and weight which will be dependent on your own space) is the type of resistance they utilise. Air resistance rowing machines are the most common – they generate resistance using the onboard flywheel, and while they feel authentic and are good for all fitness levels, they can be noisier than other types; magnetic resistance gives a similar feel, but tends to be much quieter. There's also water resistance types and bungee cord.
For tight budgets and small spaces, we recommend a hydraulic machine that uses pistons for its resistance, as these tend to be more affordable and compact. Finally – and a bit of a wildcard – there’s water. While offering the most realistic rowing experience, these machines are noisy and usually very expensive, but by far the best for experienced rowers.
The more resistance levels your new rowing machine has, the longer you'll be able to use it for. Beginners needn't worry about having a huge range, but if you are experienced, you may want to opt for something that can offer a variety of levels so you can switch it up every now and then.
What is the best rowing machine?
Where to buy the best rowing machine
Amazon rowing machines (opens in new tab)
Argos rowing machines (opens in new tab)
Decathlon rowing machines
(opens in new tab)eBay rowing machines (opens in new tab)
Fitness Superstore rowing machines (opens in new tab)
John Lewis & Partners rowing machines (opens in new tab)
Very rowing machines (opens in new tab)
The Range rowing machines (opens in new tab)
In our opinion, the best rowing machine you can buy is the Concept 2 Model D – it ticks all the boxes and more as it can be used by the whole family and it offers an incredibly smooth workout.
Click to shop the Concept 2 Model D now, at the best price on the web.