The Best Rowing Machine 2021

A rowing machine is one of the best compact cardio machines that offers a full body workout and can be used indoor or outdoors at home. Within this article, we list some of the best options that use magnetic, air and water resistance.

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Best Rowing Machine
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The best rowing machine is the Concept 2 Model D, which is built to the highest of standards and designed for both intense or light workouts. If you are on a tight budget, the Sport Plus MR-008 is the best alternative.

Rowing Machine Comparison

Rowing MachineFootprintMax User Weight
Concept 2 Model D274 x 122 cm227 KG
SportPlus MR-008190 x 51 cm150 KG
JLL Ventus 2214 x 54 cm120 KG
Circuit Fitness 167206 x 59 cm136 KG
Bluefin Fitness Blade166 x 51 cm120 KG
We R Sports Rower168 x 35.5 cm100 KG

As you can imagine, not all rowing machines are the same and they are available with magnetic, air or water resistance. Other differences include the integrated computer, construction, size and max user weight.

Below is a list of the best rowing machines that are suitable for home use and every budget.

The Best Rowing Machine

1. Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower

Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rower
By far the most popular rowing machine is the Concept 2 Model D, which is perfect for a home gym. A great benefit of this particular model is that it easily separates into two pieces, which is perfect for storing away when not in use.

It features the brand’s new and improved Performance Monitor (PM5), which is designed to be simple and easy to use. The improvements compared to previous models is the wireless connection, which allows you to connect with smartphones and accessories.

Other features of the Concept 2 Model D Rower include:

  • Max user weight of 227 KG
  • Requires a footprint of 274 x 122 cm
  • Aluminium front legs and steel rear legs
  • Nickel plated chain
  • Adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
  • New and improved computer display
  • Requires minor assembly out of the box
  • Backed by a five year warranty

Although the Concept 2 Model is expensive, it’s the ultimate rowing machine that’s worth paying the extra. It’s built to the highest of standards and is designed to provide a lifetime of service for years of rowing at home.
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2. SportPlus Home Rowing Machine

SportPlus Home Rowing Machine
For those that are on a tight budget and cannot stretch to the Concept 2 price tag, the Sport Plus brand have the answer. Their indoor rowing machine is an affordable yet high quality option that’s suitable for beginners or advanced users.

In terms of the construction, it uses an aluminium track and features an ergonomic rowing seat made from a PU material.

Other features of the SportPlus MR-008 Rower include:

  • Max user weight of 150 KG
  • Requires a 190 x 51 cm footprint
  • Durable aluminium track
  • Easily foldable for storage
  • Silent magnetic brake system
  • 8 KG flywheel
  • Large pedals with non-slip tread
  • Made in Germany

The brand also offer a number of alternatives but the MR-008 is by far the best budget rowing machine on the market. The only thing that it lacks when compared to the brand’s alternative models is Bluetooth and additional length to the roller rail. However, for the best bang for your buck, you cannot go wrong with the SportPlus rowing machine.
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3. JLL Ventus 2 Air Resistance Rowing Machine

JLL Ventus 2 Air Resistance Rowing Machine
The JLL Ventus 2 is a mid-range rowing machine that’s recently undergone various improvements. The main difference is the fact that it features both magnetic and air resistance. This means the faster you row, the more air is sucked into the flywheel, which makes the resistance even harder.

Other features of the JLL Ventus 2 include:

  • 120 KG max user weight
  • Dual resistance (magnetic and air)
  • Padded foam seat for comfortable rowing
  • Sweat resistant plastic handlebar
  • Smartphone/tablet holder
  • Intuitive LCD monitor

Overall, the JLL Ventus 2 is a well made entry level rowing machine that’s built to last and won’t disappoint. Although it may not be ideal for professional rowers, for the average person, it’s more than ideal for a home rowing machine.
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4. Circuit Fitness 167 Hydro Rower

Circuit Fitness 167 Hydro Rower
Another mid-range rowing machine is the Circuit Fitness 176 Hydro Rower. As the model name suggests, it uses water as a form of resistance, which provides a more realistic rowing experience.

According to the brand, the rowing machine has been designed to provide the user with superior comfort. Examples of this can be seen by the grooved foam padded seat, foam non-slip handle and large textured pedals.

Other features of the Circuit Fitness 167 Hydro Rower include:

  • 136 KG max user weight
  • Water resistance
  • Can be stored in an upright position
  • Clear computer display with multiple metrics
  • Footprint of 206 x 59 cm
  • Transportation wheels

The Circuit Fitness 167 Hydro is an excellent all-round rowing machine that features the desirable water resistance. It’s also a great option for those that like to row long distances with the various comfort orientated features.
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5. Bluefin Fitness Blade Home Rowing Machine

Bluefin Fitness Blade Home Rowing Machine
Bluefin Fitness are a brand that specialize in home gym equipment and have a great reputation. Their rowing machine follows that great reputation and is compatible with the Kinomap fitness application. This means that you are able to follow multiple training videos, coaching and much more.

Other features of the Bluefin Fitness Rowing Machine include:

  • Max user weight of 120 KG
  • Large LCD display
  • Ergonomic grip handlebars
  • Large anti-slip foot pedals
  • Cushioned seat for extra comfort
  • Smooth belt drive for a more natural row
  • Easily foldable for storage
  • Smartphone/tablet holder
  • Easy to assemble out of the box
  • Requires a footprint of 166 x 51 cm

Overall, the Bluefin home rowing machine ticks all the boxes and is packed full of features. Although slightly more expensive than some of the budget options, the addition of the Kinomap makes it a very desirable option.
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6. We R Sports Home Rowing Machine

We R Sports Home Rowing Machine
Another budget rowing machine that’s ideal for home use is by the We R Sports brand. It’s a foldable machine that’s available in a choice of 5 different colours and comes with a basic LCD display with time, distance and speed settings.

Other features of the We R Sports Rower include:

  • Max user weight of 100 KG
  • 168 x 35.5 cm footprint
  • Foam padded seat
  • Elastic cord resistance
  • Choice of 4 levels of tension
  • Available in black, blue, purple, red and silver

The We R Sports rowing machine is a great budget option that’s suitable for everyday use. The only drawback is that the maximum weight limit for some users may not be enough.
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Rowing machines are an excellent addition to any home gym and are available to suit all budgets. By far the most popular is the Concept 2 Model D but the price tag makes it unsuitable for many users attempting to build a home gym on a budget. Therefore, if you can afford the Concept 2 rowing machine, it’s the ultimate example that won’t disappoint. Alternatively, we have listed a great selection of other options that are perfect for those on a budget.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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