If you’ve decided that working out at home is the best way for you to get fit, then adding a good rowing machine to your home gym is a great way to start outfitting the room. Rowing machines are great choices because they are good gym equipment options for small apartments or spaces and they give you a great workout. Another nice thing about this type of machine is that they are good for both people with bad knees and those with arthritis.
Top 10 Best Home Rowing Machines 2015 - 2016
|Concept2 Model D|
|Stamina Air Rower|
|LifeSpan Fitness RW1000|
|Concept2 Model E|
|Stamina InMotion Rower|
|Stamina X Air Rower|
Rowing Machine Shopping – What To Look For?
When shopping for the best home rowing machine for the money, there are few features that you may want to look for as you compare the various models that are available. Those things include:
- will it fold up for easy storage or is it stationary?
- does it have programmable workouts?
- does it track time, calories burned, heart rate, etc.?
- what type of fly wheel does it have? (options are air, magnetic or fluid)
- does it have adjustable resistance?
- do you need it delivered to your home? (these machines can be very heavy!)
These are just some of the most common things that people look for when buying an indoor rowing machine. Determine what features are most important to you before you begin shopping and it will save you a considerable amount of time. To help you get started, I want to share my top picks of the best rowing machines based on my own research. You can see my reviews of this gear below. I’m certain that you’ll find something to meet your needs as there are options for every budget. In fact, with our help you should be able to find:
(Editor’s note: you might also want to check out my guide on the best home gym under 1000 dollars)
- best rowing machine under $300
- best rowing machine under $500
- best rowing machine under $1000
Top Indoor Home Rowing Machines Review 2016
I have identified the models listed below as the best rowing machines for the money when it comes to adding one to your home gym. These machines are available at a variety of prices, so I took the time to consider models at several price points so that people on a budget can find the very best machine at their price point, as well as the people who have a little more money to spend.
Stamina Air Rower Review
Finding a good rower machine that has a cheap price in the range of under $600 is not easy to do. Of all the models that I evaluated, the best one at this price point is the Stamina Air Rower.
Where to buy:
But before you rush off to buy it, let me share with you the advantages and disadvantages of this one.
Best features of the Stamina Air Rower:
- digital performance monitor
- padded seats
- large foot plates for those with larger feet
- folds for easy storage when not in use
- three year warranty (frame only)
- good for general exercise
Things I don’t like about the Stamina Air Rower:
- flywheel is loud, which means you can’t watch TV while exercising on it
- resistance is lower than you’d expect
- machine works out your arms a lot more than your legs (not normal for rower machines)
- not great for serious rowers or those who prefer a strong leg workout
- designed for smaller people as it has a weight limit of 250 pounds
The problem with the resistance is that it feels as if it only kicks in well after you’ve started the rowing motion. This is due to the fact that it is an air rower and with it being a low-end model, it doesn’t have any mechanisms built in to keep the resistance even. The faster you move on it, the more even the resistance and the more balanced your workout is on your arms and legs. With some perseverance, you can probably overcome these problems. But, if you have a bit more money in your budget, then spending just a little more can get you a better machine that offers a better workout.
Kettler Favorit Review
Possibly the best home rowing machine for the money, the Kettler Favorit is a great value indoor rowing machine choice for your home gym. Not only does it offer a great workout, but it also has a good price.
Where to buy:
As you can tell from the photo, the Kettler Favorit has a bit of a different design compared to the Stamina model listed up above. This is one of the things that makes it such a superior machine.
Here’s what I really like about the Kettler Favorit:
- good, even resistance when in motion
- seat is ergonomically designed and comfortable for long periods
- on-board digital monitor to track progress
- lays flat for easy storage under bed or standing in closet
- feels stable and durable when you use it
- made by a German brand known for making quality fitness equipment
- stroke action has a natural feel, which is great for real life rowers looking to train
- good overall workout for your body
- great for people up to 6-feet tall
What I dislike about the Kettler Favorit:
- doesn’t easily store under some beds as it is too high
- can’t transfer data from on-board to your computer or phone
As you can see, I have little to complain about when it comes to this home rower machine. My bed is just on a cheap set of metal bed rails, which means that it sits fairly low to the ground. As such, there is no way that I can slide this machine under my bed. That being said, if I had bed on a taller (or more normal height frame), then I suspect that it would fit. For now though, I have to just lean it up against the wall in my apartment.
Note that this one has a weight limit of 285 pounds.
For me, this Kettler rowing machine is perfect for my small apartment. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Concept2 listed below, but it is still a great choice (and at a much lower price than the Concept2!)
Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine Review
While there are plenty of rowers with a price tag over $1,000, I see no reason (unless you’re over 6-ft tall) to spend that much when you can get a solid workout from the Kettler mentioned above or the machine that I’m about to share with you.
If your budget is under or right around the $1000 – $1200 mark, then the best rowing machine for the money is the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine. This is the base model that Concept2 makes as they have several models with much higher price tags.
The Concept2 Model D has a lot of great features. Here are some of my favorite things about it:
- fits people over 6-ft tall
- has a weight limit of 500 pounds so larger people can workout on it
- digital monitor on-board to show your progress
- separates, instead of folds, into two pieces for super easy storage
- footrests are adjustable for different sizes of feet
- handles are ergonomically designed
- frame warranty of 5 years
- low noise from flywheel
- can connect the on-board monitor to your computer or phone to transfer data via USB
- feels durable and well made when you use it
- gives a great, even full-body workout
What I dislike about the Concept2 Model D:
- price is more than double that of the Kettler Favorit
There is no denying that this is a great rowing machine, but it is difficult for me, personally, to justify spending twice as much for the Concept2 Model D as for the Kettler Favorit. That being said, I do think that this is hands down the single best rowing machine (despite the price) for two groups of people:
- those taller than 6-ft
- those who weigh more than 285 lbs.
The other models fail people in those two groups, but this Concept2 machine takes care of them. In fact, if you are in one of those two groups, then this machine is definitely the best value for your money. Not in those two groups? This is still a good rower that offers some features and perks not found in the cheaper models listed up above.
Not crazy about any of the equipment reviewed above? If not, you can see a full list of the best selling models on Amazon right now by clicking here. No matter which model you choose, I hope you find equipment for your home gym that gives you a great workout.
If you are just beginning a new fitness regimen, then you may want to consider consulting with your primary care physician or other medical professional in case of any concerns or questions.