Best Rowing Machines For Home Gym in 2024

Best Rowing Machines For A Home Gym
Photo Credit: Garage Gym Products

Rowing machines are a great way to exercise almost your entire body including your arms, back, core, and legs. We’ve compiled a list of the best rowing machines available this year, depending on your preferences.

Whether you are looking to tone the aforementioned muscles or looking to turn up the heat and get your cardio burning, rowing machines are a great place to start or a great place to add to your already existing functional training

We have tested all of these recommended rowing machines to ensure we can give the best recommendation on an individual basis.

Here are the best rowing machines for a home gym.

Best Overall Premium Rower
Peloton Row - Best Rowing Machine of the Year

Peloton Row

With its incredibly comfortable seat, row assistance technology, daily live and recorded classes, and incredible digital magnetic resistance the Peloton Row is our favorite rower for a home gym.

With a price tag of just over $3000, the Peloton Row is pricey. It’s also a case of getting exactly what you pay for.

You might notice in the photo above that I am a Peloton user by nature. I start my mornings with a Peloton Tread run followed by 30 minutes on my Peloton bike, and then I finish off my cardio on the Peloton Row. Of the three, the rower is my favorite.

First, the Peloton Row features an amazing digital magnetic resistance build that provides for an incredibly smooth pull on every movement.

The magnetic resistance technology, much like the Hydrow, is also very quiet compared to fan and belt-driven units such as the Concept 2 Rower.

The seat on the Peloton Row is also one of the best in class. I can sit on the Row for an hour and not feel fatigued in the backside area. I also really enjoy the Peloton Row’s handle which is firm in my hand. I have yet to experience any hand paint or chaffing, even during 45-minute high-intensity classes.

Peloton excels when it comes to classes and just like the bike and tread, there are daily live classes taught by a diverse group of trainers, including some of our bike and tread favorites including Matt Wilper and Adrian Williams.

To help those classes feel immersive the Peloton Row features a 24″ HD touchscreen with front-facing 26-watt speakers and a woofer. The display is by far the best we’ve found for an at-home rower.

The Peloton Row assist is another great and innovative feature. When first using your rower you’ll be asked to row along with a set of instructions. Based on your movements, the system will learn when you break form and grade your rowing based on that form.

Size (L x W)
8' x 2'
Display
23.8″ HD swiveling touchscreen
Audio
Front and backside monitor speakers
In-App Metric Tracking
Track stroke rate, pace, output, and distance
Resistance Type
Electronically controlled resistance for quiet, perfectly smooth stroke feel
Storage
Fully upright with included wall anchor
Max Weight
300lbs

As you become more adept at using the Pelton row you can realign your form assistant. If you’re a newbie to rowing, this is a great feature and Peloton has already released at least one upgrade to the software.

If there’s one huge drawback, it’s the footrests which are limited in feet size they comfortably fit. My wife in her size 5 shoes finds the footpad to be comfortable but I struggle with size 11 shoes to get a feeling that’s just right for me. Your mileage will definitely vary and it’s a common complaint for the Peloton Row.

The Pelton Row also features Bluetooth connectivity for various heart rate monitors, including Peloton’s own armband which my wife loves. I connect using my Apple Watch which provides a decent heart rate monitor option. Admittedly, both the Apple Watch and the Peloton band can be frustrating in terms of connectivity at times.

The overall build feels incredibly solid, however, Peloton has placed a 300-pound weight limit on the product, making it among the worst on our list. Still, the rower is very smooth and comfortable, and the classes and included 24″ HD display are both excellent.

The Pelton Row in our opinion is the best rowing machine for a home gym in 2023.

As an added bonus, throw in some awesome Peloton weights and you’ll take your full-body workouts to the next level.

Best Budget Rower With A Commercial Feel
Concept 2 RowERG PM5 - Best Rowing Machine for a home gym

CONCEPT 2 ROWERG ROWER – PM5

There’s no denying that the Concept 2 RowerERG is among the best budget buys with a commercial-quality build. While it’s a no-thrills rower, it provides some of the best rowing for garage gym owners.

The Concept 2 RowerERG PM5 is a shockingly great rower with a $1000 price tag.

The Flywheel design found on Concept 2 rowers is a favorite among even some of the most intense fans of rowing. The Flywheel provides an incredibly smooth feel while noise levels remain relatively low compared to cheaper rowers.

The smoothness of the machine is also helped along thanks to an aluminum rail and stainless steel track which help provide for a shocking smooth glide.

One of our favorite aspects of this rower is the adjustable Spiral Damper which features 10 different settings. If you’re attempting to set PRs and want to push your body to the limit, this is a fun feature.

The Flexfoot footrests featured on the Concept 2 RowERG are excellent whether you’re a size 5 or a size 12.

The PM5 Performance Monitor is all you’ll need if tracking your stats with no thrills is more up to your speed. The PM5 easily connects to wireless heart rate monitors and even has access to the optional ErgData app which can connect via Bluetooth. There’s even the option for machine-to-machine racing.

Size (L x W)
7'11'" x 2'
Display
PM5 monitor
In-App Metric Tracking
Heart rate and performance data can be saved off-device along with other information that can appear on the ErgData app
Resistance Type
Traditional belt-driven resistance training.
Storage
Fully upright.
Max Weight
500lbs

The team at Concept 2 has also managed to absolutely nail down a comfortable handle that feels comfortable in my hands while promoting natural arm movements that won’t put unneeded stress on the upper body.

You can also fold the Concept 2 RowERG in half and hang it on your wall, reducing the amount of storage space needed for this rower.

The seat isn’t as comfortable as some of the other rowers on our list but that doesn’t disqualify it from being one of the best rowers of the year because it’s still in a class above many other options.

With a 500-pound weight limit this under $1000 rower is worth every single penny you’ll spend on it Don’t take our word for it though, check out the amazing customer reviews on the Concept 2 Rower page.

It deserves its place among the best rowing machines, especially if you’re on a budget.

Best Commercial Grade Rower Under $3000
Hydrow Rower - Best Rowing Machines for a garage gym

Hydrow Rower

The Hydrow Rower is a commercial-grade rower for under $3000. It features the same digital magnetic resistance as the Peloton Row, a more comfortable handle, and an equally comfortable seat.

There are so many positives to list with the Hydrow Rower that you’ll wonder why it slides into second place on our list.

First, the rower features the same type of digital magnetic resistance that we love on the Peloton Row. Still, it’s somehow louder than the Peloton option and it even falls behind the Ergatta which uses actual water as part of its mechanism.

Second, this rower has by far the most comfortable handle we’ve gotten our hands on. The handle is ergonomic, allowing for natural arm movements, and it feels solid while still cushioning our hands during longer row sessions.

The 22″ HD display isn’t as big as the Peloton Row but it still offers a solid experience at an eye level I personally love. And its front-side speakers sound great. Hydrow has a big headstart over Peloton in terms of classes with over 4,000 on-demand workouts.

Size (L x W)
6'8'" x 1'7"
Display
22" HD Display
In-App Metric Tracking
Heart rate and performance data can be collected during classes or free rows
Resistance Type
Hydrow’s patented electromagnetic drag mechanism
Storage
Upright storage kit sold separately.
Max Weight
375lbs

Hydrow also offers circuit training, pilates, yoga, strength, and conditioning classes, much like Peloton. However, you’ll pay $44 for the rowing and other classes while a single device membership from Peloton is just $12.99 for a single product or $44 for the Bike, Row, and Tread combined.

In terms of the actual build factor, the Hydrow is on par with the Peloton Row and among the best in the at-home market for quality. It also beats the Peloton Row for a maximum weight limit with a 375-pound ceiling.

We also love the foot straps on the Hydrow Rower which feel comfortable for both men and women from size 5 to size 11 based on our testing. It definitely deserves its place among the best rowing machines for a home gym in 2023.

Top Water-Based Rower
Ergatta Rower

Ergatta Rower

This rower is by far the most elegant looking on the market thanks to its Cherry wood design. It’s also a lot of fun to use with actual water resistance and excellent ergonomics.

If aesthetics means a great deal to you, then the Ergatta Rower is the best rowing machine for your home gym. Its Cherry wood finish is absolutely stunning. You can put this rower in your living room and it won’t even remotely feel like you live inside a gym.

The Ergatta is also among the shortest on our list taking up just 86 inches on the ground and less than it takes up less than four square feet when stored upright.

The seat on the Ergatta is comfortable but it’s also low to the ground which might pose an issue for anyone with flexibility issues. We do love the large footrests that are included with this rower which seem to fit feet from small to large without much issue.

The water resistance provides for a very nice experience if you like the feel of traditional water-based resistant rowers. The water shockingly doesn’t create a lot of noise, in fact, it’s among the most quiet options on our list. Still, it’s hard to give the win to Ergatta when Peloton and Hydrow Rowers are just so much better with their magnetic resistance technologies.

If there’s one area where the Ergatta loses me it’s the tiny 17.3″ HD display and lower-quality speakers that don’t allow me to get into the moment like I can on my Peloton Row or the Hydrow Rower. It costs $29/month or $319 annually for an Ergatta membership and while there is a ton of great games to play and classes to enjoy, it’s a hefty price when you consider the tiny display you’ll be utilizing during every single rowing session.

Size (L x W)
7'2'" x 1'11"
Display
17.3" HD Display
In-App Metric Tracking
Heart rate and performance data can be collected during classes or free rows
Resistance Type
Resistance scales up and down dynamically with your effort, no water level change needed.
Storage
Upright storage takes up less than 4 square feet
Max Weight
500lbs

I’m also not a fan of ordering water purification tablets to keep the water-based flywheel in good-looking shape.

$2500 is a hefty price tag to pay for a rower in general and there are definitely some issues with the Ergatta rower. However, the incredible look and the water-based flywheel still make this our top water-based setup.

Again, if aesthetics mean a lot to you, then this might be the best rowing machine of the year for your home gym.

Best Entertainment Friendly Rower
Aviron Strong Series Rower

Aviron Strong Series Rower

The Aviron Strong Series rower features a full suite of entertainment-based options, including the ability to watch your favorite streaming services while you row. It’s also built like a tank and supports an incredibly 507-pounds weight limit.

For full disclosure, this is the only rower on our list that we haven’t tested on our own. However, it’s among the best-rated for at-home use by thousands of buyers, and we’ve compiled a bunch of feedback from those reviews.

The most obvious advantage of this rower is the incredible breadth of on-screen options it features on its 22″inch rotating HD display. Want to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime shows while you row? No problem! Want to take part in live classes or competitions? Aviron’s got you covered. They’ve also created some awesome games, scenic rows, and various other activities to keep you fully engaged.

At $25/month when billed annually or $29/month on a month-by-month basis, we don’t mind the membership cost because this company has put a massive amount of thought into its programs.

Another added benefit is that you can still create a profile, add and follow friends, earn achievements, and track your progress with no membership required if you decide to stop paying at any time.

The only drawback to Aviron’s programming is that it doesn’t have the focus that Peloton, Ergatta, and other options have on our list in terms of leading members through programs that actually lead to self-improvement in an organized manner.

Size (L x W)
7' x 2'3"
Display
Rotating 22" HD Touchscreen with 2x5 Watt speakers.
In-App Metric Tracking
Heart rate and performance data can be collected during classes or free rows
Resistance Type
The air system resistance mimics the feeling of rowing through water, while the magnetic system resistance provides exceptionally strong and smooth torque, offering you the ultimate cardio/strength duo.
Storage
Rolls on two wheels and stores upright independently. No wall mount required.
Max Weight
507lbs

In terms of comfort, the Aviron Strong Series Rower is the only one on our list with a fully adjustable footpad that allows for perfect positioning based on body type. It also has an optional lumbar support feature with a download slant that makes it much easier to maintain proper rowing form.

In terms of the actual rowing experience, Peloton, Hydrow, and Concept 2 rowers offer a better experience but if you’re new to rowing, you’ll likely only notice the difference if testing the Peloton Row against the Aviron Strong Series Rower.

The rower’s seat is very comfortable, the glide is great, and the overall experience is worth the $2000+ cost for the rower.

In terms of build factor, with its available lumbar support, adjustable footrest, and an upper weight limit of 507 pounds, it’s hard to deny that this rower is built like a tank and one of the best rowers of the year.

The Best Self Adapting Rower
NordicTrack RW900 Rower

NordicTrack RW900 Rower

The NordicTrack RW900 features an excellent display, great comfort, and a workout system that adapts to every users own progress.

NordicTrack is one of the best-known names in home-based and commercial gym product manufacturing and that knowledge was put to great use when developing the RW900 Rower.

The 22″ HD display on this rower offers a great heads-up option, however, the speakers are not on par with the Peloton Row.

The display helps support a ton of live and recorded classes with various components that gamify the experience but for some reason, they lack the excitement we’ve experienced with other rowers on the list. Still, while the iFit membership offered by NordicTrack is among the best available for treadmills, the quality of rower classes is lacking.

What we do love is the use of the company’s patented SMR (Silent Magnetic Resistance) technology which offers 26 digital resistance levels. What’s really cool about NordictTrack’s system is that it learns about your rowing habits and adjusts as time goes on. If you want to really push your rowing to new heights, it’s among the best options on the market.

What we just said above might also be the most unsettling part of the rower for anyone with experience. The harder you pull on most rowers, the more resistance you experience. However, the RW900 applies the same resistance throughout the pull.

Size (L x W)
6'10" x 1'10"
Display
22” Tilt & Pivot Smart HD Touchscreen
In-App Metric Tracking
Heart rate and performance data can be collected during classes or free rows
Resistance Type
26 Digital Resistance Levels of Intensity.
Storage
No upright storage available
Max Weight
507lbs

Honestly, the self-adapting portion of this rower is what led to our decision to make it the best in class for adaptability but it also creates a very polarizing experience that you’ll either love (I love it even as an experienced rower) or absolutely hate.

If there’s one huge downside to this rower it’s the inability to store it in an upright position which is a glaring oversight on the company’s behalf.

We’re also not huge fans of the wide footrests which can easily take many rowers out of proper knee positioning.

Because the NordicTrack RW900 is such a polarizing rower, we would recommend finding one you can test before making the plunge and spending $1999. We think it’s one of the best rowing machines on the market this year but a lot of people are going to find it too different to really give it a chance.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of really great rowers on the market and not all rowers are created equally.

While we highly recommend the Peloton Row it’s also very expensive. And to be frank, most amateur rowers aren’t going to notice the difference in row quality between the Peloton option and most of the other rowers on our list.

If you simply need a great rowing experience with no thrills, check out the awesome user reviews for the Concept 2 RowERG.

If aesthetics matter a lot, the Ergatta, despite a few issues is hard to ignore.

At the end of the day, the best rowing machines for a home gym all have one thing in common. They all offer a full-body workout that’s hard to ignore and you really shouldn’t ignore what they have to offer for your health.

Concept 2 RowERG – PM5

The Concept 2 RowerERG - PM5 is among the best budget buys with a commercial-quality build.
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Written by James Kosur

James is a 20-year veteran of the digital media industry, an avid gym builder, and a dad to four kids, three dogs, and two cats. He's a DIYer who loves building stuff with his hands and a gamer who enjoys all facets of gaming.