Best Air Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Our Choice Of Best Magnetic Rowing machines For Home Use

I bought my first air magnetic rowing machine a long time ago when I didn’t have much room because my apartment was small. That cheap rowing machine served me hand and foot for about 5 years of continuous use.

Since then, I’ve tried not just one or two machines but a variety of rowing machines for indoor workouts, including  air and high-end water rowers. But my first quiet magnetic resistance rowing machine gave me an opportunity to exercise and do everyday indoor workout without disturbing my neighbors.

Only when I started using the rower in the gym I realized how effective rowing was in comparison with stationary upright bikes. So, I decided to upgrade to a magnetic rowing machine for a full-body workout.

But I can still recall that it wasn’t easy to find a decent machine. It took me plenty of time to research and read magnetic rowing machine reviews on the web.

That’s why I decided to unite here several rowing machine consumer reports. It would be easier for you to buy your own personal sports equipment without spending too much time. Here’s my exhaustive guide on buying the top rower for home use in 2020!

p 1. BodyCraft VR500 Commercial-Grade Air-Mag Rower Check Price
p 2 2. Dynamic Fitness R1 Pro Magnetic Air Rower Check Price
p 3 3. XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Air Mag Indoor Rower Check Price
p 4 4. Bodycraft VR200 Air Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine Check Price
p 5 5. Bluefin Fitness Blade Air Magnetic Indoor Rower Check Price
p 6 6. Sunny Fitness SF-RW5730 Air-Magnetic Rowing Machines Check price
BodyCraft VR500 Commercial-Grade Air-Mag RowerBodyCraft VR500 Commercial-Grade Air-Mag RowerBacklit - meters, watts, pulse, time, SPM, total strokes, calories, 500M split time, and resistance level350 LbsResistance control via handlebarYes, frame folds up32 Electromagnetic and air-resistanceCheck Price
Dynamic Fitness R1 Pro Magnetic Air RowerDynamic Fitness R1 Pro Magnetic Air RowerBacklit - time, watts, strokes per minute (SPM), distance, and calories300 LbsHR strapsYes, frame folds up16 Electromagnetic and air-resistanceCheck Price
XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Air Mag Indoor RowerXTERRA Fitness ERG700 Air Mag Indoor RowerBacklit - distance, time, calories, 20/10 interval, 10/20 interval, custom interval, fat burn, cardio, strength, game, and manual350 LbsHR strapsYes, frame folds up16 Electromagnetic and air-resistanceCheck Price
Bodycraft VR200 Air Magnetic Resistance Rowing MachineBodycraft VR200 Air Magnetic Resistance Rowing MachineNot backlit - time, distance, calories, time 500m, strokes, strokes per minute (SPM), total strokes profile300 LbsN/AYes, frame folds up8-Level Manual
Magnetic and Air Resistance
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Bluefin Fitness Blade Air Magnetic Indoor RowerBluefin Fitness Blade Air Magnetic Indoor RowerBacklit - speed, time, distance, strokes per minute & calories burned260 LbsBluetooth - KinomapYes, frame folds up8-Level Manual
Magnetic and Air Resistance
Check Price
Sunny Fitness SF-RW5730 Air-Magnetic Rowing MachinesSunny Fitness SF-RW5730 Air-Magnetic Rowing MachinesNot-backlit - time, RPM, calories burned, and distance626 LbsN/AYes, frame folds up8-Level Manual
Magnetic and Air Resistance
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1. BodyCraft VR500 Commercial-Grade Magnetic Rower


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Listed as the best rower in most of the magnetic rower reviews, BodyCraft VR500 is a gym quality exercise equipment. It’s the most time-proof and high-performance machine released by BodyCraft. Besides it is the best candidate to buy in our opinion.

The machine is equipped with 32 levels of Eddy Current Technology and wind resistance which helps to combine the best features of both systems. The way of controlling the resistance is electronic which is much more accurate compared to manual way.

BodyCraft VR500 air magnetic rower has a human-readable black mask LCD with LED-backlit monitor and keys. The below listed parameters are reflected in current, average, and maximum values: time, meters, pulse, strokes per minute (SPM), total strokes, calories, watts, 500M split time and resistance level.

4 user profiles are aimed at saving your daily workout. 12 program profiles include 4 races, 4 heart rate controls, 2 intervals, 1 custom definable and manual program. These options hit the spot to hold your interest and keep up motivation.

There is also an option to connect the monitor to the Polar T34 heart rate strap. Unfortunately it lacks Bluetooth, ANT/+ or WiFi, so you can’t take part in online rowing competitions. The battery to be used with the LCD monitor is included but for work it is necessary to plug the electromagnetic system into a standard socket.

Several more amazing characteristics that make VR500 the best magnetic rowing machine in our list are comfort grip handlebar with remote resistance control, easy folding construction, safety child lock and ergonomic seat.

If you decide on this indoor device, you will automatically get an ensuring long-term warranty. If this device is affordable for you, don’t hesitate to purchase it because the BodyCraft VR500 is considered to be the best magnetic rowing machine for home exercises.

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  • Assembled dimensions: 98.5″L x 20″W x 38.5″H
  • Folded dimensions: 58.5″L x 20″W x 77″H
  • Max Inseam: 38.5″
  • Max user weight: 350-Lb
  • Unit weight: 101-lb
  • Seat height: 19″


  • 1 year wear items
  • 2 years of labor
  • Lifetime Frame
  • 7 years parts


  • Anatomically comfortable aluminum handlebar with remote resistance controls.
  • Up to 6’8″ user height capacity – suitable for all your family members.
  • Involved computer with useful programs and user profiles.
  • Сollapsible frame and safety child lock for optimal storage.
  • Classic color and form that will match any interior.
  • 32 levels of electronically controlled air-magnetic resistance.
  • Smooth and simply gliding seat.


  • Air magnetic rower tablet holder is not provided.
  • The monitor doesn’t support Bluetooth or WiFi.
  • Heart rate chest strap is not provided.

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2. Dynamic Fitness R1 Pro Magnetic Air Rower

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Being a truly time proved air magnetic rower, Dynamic R1 Pro rower boasts its flowing lines, excellent resistance system, wide display and ergonomic construction. Users can settle one of the 16 levels of air-magnetic resistance which makes it suitable for any age and level of training. If you are prepared for an intense work out, you will duly appreciate the dual resistance.

Dynamic R1 Pro rower costs less than $800, but surprises to the upside with the functionalities of a $1500 machine. This magnetic rowing machine accommodates users up to 300 pounds. Both seat and handlebar are well padded and ergonomically correctly designed. That makes you feel the real comfort during indoor exercises.

Many users in their reviews on Dynamic R1 Pro rower mention its adjustable footpads with coating for maximum convenience. Footboard can be regulated to suite your foot size and has a patented heel support mechanism. You can fold your sporting equipment for storage in seconds. Sturdy built-in wheels will help easier portability.

The rest attractive options that are widely admitted in Dynamic R1 Pro rower reviews are easy-to-follow computer console with blue backlight that shows time, watts, SPM, distance, and calories to help you keep track of your power, progress, and performance.

Moreover, the monitor integrates 12 preset programs, 5 different user profiles, watts mode, 5 heart rate control programs, manual and race function and a recovery motion. Presence of multiple training options is a huge plus. 5KHz frequency heart rate strap is not in a standard package, but it is still supported.

What’s more, Dynamic R1 Pro rower is not a problem for short persons. It can be successfully used by people whose height is 6’6″ and less.

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  • Assembled dimensions: 97.7″L x 17.7″W x 42.″H
  • Folded dimensions: 53.8″L x 17.8″W x 62.5″H
  • Max Inseam: 37″
  • Max user weight: 300-Lb
  • Unit weight: 83-lb
  • Seat height: 19.5″


  • 1 Year all parts


  • 12 preset programs, 5 different user profiles, 5 heart rate control programs, watts mode.
  • Easy-to-follow display supporting wireless 5KHz frequency heart rate straps.
  • Anatomic shape of the seat protects the back from too much pressure.
  • Possibility to select one of 16 levels of air-magnetic resistance.
  • Footboard is able to be regulated to fit your foot size.
  • Nylon rowing strap makes rowing exercises practically noiseless.
  • Reliable seat rail made of aluminum with large height capacity.
  • Handlebar coverage provides a secure grip.


  • Heart rate strap are not in a standard package.
  • Short warranty.

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3. Bodycraft VR200 Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

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The bronze medal of our list goes to BodyCraft VR200 magnetic rowing machine. It is considered to be the second-best magnetic resistance rowing machine under $1000. If its big brother BodyCraft VR500 is too pricey for you, VR200 would be a good alternative.

Purchase of this sports equipment won’t strain the wallet. For less than $900 you get a durable and steady drive. Due to its foldable construction this magnetic rower takes not so much space when it’s not in use. So, you can save space and put it to the corner.

A piece of particular pride of BodyCraft VR200 is the resistance system. The first level is wind resistance only which means that it responds with the degree of tension depending on fast you row. From the second level to the eighth level wind and Eddy Current Technology are combined. Keep in mind that the resistance system of this magnetic rowing machine is manual so there is no heart rate control programs.

Unlike the VR500, the VR200 magnetic resistance rowing machine has quite a simple computer. The screen has no backlight and displays time, meters, time 500m, calories burned, strokes, strokes per minute and total strokes profile. There are no such functions as preset programs, Bluetooth, ANT/+, WiFi or connection to wireless chest strap. It means you can’t control your heart rate or participate in online racing.

Unlike other rowers for apartment use, VR200 utilizes a special technology of foot-rests to guarantee a solid push off. This system involves deluxe pivoting heel rest, heel stop, non-slip surface, and convenient foot straps to make your feet fit like a glove. Premium Nylon belt and T13 extruded aluminum mono-rail serve the purpose of extra smoothness and reliability.

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One of the most wide-spread problems that users of magnetic rowing machines for indoor use face with is weak return spring that go out of order after a short period of time. Fortunately the BodyCraft VR200 simulator has a heavy-duty commercial clutch and return spring to reduce any necessary maintenance.

VR200 rowing machine delivers some more great features that worth mentioning in our guide. They include the lightweight rubber coated aluminum handlebar, low noise level, built-in wheels for transportation, and ergonomic seat with heavy-duty roller bearings.

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  • Assembled dimensions: 79″L x 17.75″W x 36.25″H
  • Folded dimensions: 35.5″L x 17.5″W x 58″H
  • Max Inseam: 35″
  • Max user weight: 300-Lb
  • Unit weight: 59.5-lb
  • Seat height: 15.5″


  • 1 year wear items
  • 1 year of labor
  • Lifetime Frame
  • 5 years parts


  • BodyCraft VR200 provides the best warranty in comparison with other machines under $100 in this list of rowing machine consumer reports.
  • 1 level of wind resistance and 7 levels of combined air and magnetic resistance to alternate the degree of pressure in accordance with your demands.
  • Named as the best magnetic rowing machines under $900 in many magnetic rowing machine reviews.
  • Commercial quality clutch and return spring.
  • Elements of heavy gauge powder coated steel.


  • The display lacks backlight, so it can be hard to workout in the dark.
  • This magnetic rower is not the cheapest in the category.
  • There is no function of connecting the heart rate straps.
  • Preset programs are not included.

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4. JOROTO MR30 Magnetic Indoor Rower

water resistance rowing machines

We present the Joroto MR30 simulator to those who is currently in search of an inexpensive magnetic resistance folding rowing machine. The 2018 version of Joroto MR30 is not simply magnetic but features 16 levels of electromagnetic resistance complemented by integrated 11 pounds flywheel. This is rather untypical for magnetic rowing machines with price under $1000.

When you turn this sporting equipment on, you can settle the resistance optimal for your personal exercises plan with high accuracy. 16 preset programs are aimed at automatic adding and subtracting the resistance during the workout. By the way, BodyCraft VR500 is the only magnetic rowing machine to cost nearly $1500 where these features are also presented.

The above-mentioned 16 preset programs including heart rate control will make you stay concentrated on your goals. Besides you can create a user profile for saving your favorite workout program. Another core feature is unbeatable for the price blue backlit display.

You may keep record of your gained progress without breaking the rowing. In case you decide on this particular simulator, you can train with the lights turned off in order not to bother your home folks early in the morning or evening.

Joroto MR30 budget magnetic rower holds your interest by tracking spent, calories burned, count, distance, strokes per minutes and heart rate. Function of tracking watts lacks in this simulator but it’s not a significant issue unless you do racing. Joroto MR30 magnetic rowing machine is also compatible with a wireless chest strap. But due to the fact documentation was insufficient, it was impossible to find out what frequencies are used to connect chest straps.

This foldable equipment for indoor exercises is very compact in its folded state, which helps the perfect space-saving storage. The time-proof aluminum slide rail with natural silver polish provides a gliding surface for the rollers to operate smoothly and silently.

If you are still with us, let us introduce few more superior features that make Joroto MR30 the best of breed among magnetic rowing machines under $1000. Developed by professional rowing athletes it features an ergonomic pulling handle to take care of right body position throughout the exercise to prevent accidents.

The key point is that you will get a professional, built to last and elegantly designed magnetic rowing machine at this price. It has a sliding rolling system, set of non-slip wide foot pedals with regulated straps and silent belt drive.

The seat of this home simulator is contoured, padded and upholstered with faux leather. In case one standard layer of padding is not enough, you can always buy an additional exercise rower seat cushion.

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  • Assembled dimensions: 7.5″L x 21″W x 31″H
  • Folded dimensions: 33″L x 17.5″W x 55″H
  • Max Inseam: 35″
  • Max user weight: 265-Lb
  • Unit weight: 60-lb
  • Seat height: 15.5″


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  • The display is large enough and equipped with backlight which helps not to get distracted from your workout process even in the darkness.
  • According to magnetic rowing machine reviews it named as the best collapsible rowing machine for a price less than $500.
  • Modern version of Joroto MR30 delivers the option of heart rate control programs.
  • Company offers a 30-Day money back return policy for MR30 machine.
  • MR30 magnetic foldable rower has 16 intense levels of electromagnetic resistance.
  • Slide rail of aluminum, set of non-slip wide footrests and a comfortable contoured seat.


  • Unidentified duration of the warranty.
  • Insufficient operating manual.

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5. Goplus Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine

water rowing machine reviews

Another candidate for our guide is Goplus magnetic folding rowing machine. It is a low-cost magnetic rowing machine that costs not more than $250, yet it embraces all the privileges of budget rowers for apartment use.

This device is top in the category of rowers under $300 but it does not suit for all level of training , from novice to expert. It is an ideal model for male and female users to exercise just for yourself, not preparing to serious rowing competitions. As one of the best magnetic rowing machines, it doesn’t demand a thorough maintenance and it is almost silent due to its belt drive and magnetic tension system.

This sporting equipment generates 8 levels of magnetic tension that are adjusted manually by the user. From the sixth level to the eighth level the machine produces enough load to provide an explosive cardio training. What about the display, it generates no backlight and basic in its design. The user can observe the total count, count per min, calories, count, scan and time. So don’t hope for more advanced functions like distance in meters, heart rate and watts.

This folding magnetic rowing machine by Goplus has a fully stuffed U-shape seat. There is no need to buy an additional rower seat cushion. The handlebar of this device is equipped with anti-slip surface, yet it’s neither lightweight nor ergonomically correctly designed.

Its easy folding design facilitates optimal storage under the circumstances of space constraints. You can easily collapse the device in two steps and put it out of your way till the next training. Besides the simulator has built-in wheels for easy transportation.

There are two more amazing features that make it deserve the status of the best magnetic rowing machine under $500. The first is the largely textured footpads. The second one is a rowing beam with aluminum content. Here is our version of advantages and disadvantages of this budget simulator.

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  • Assembled dimensions: 70″L x 21″W x 19″H
  • Folded dimensions: 28″L x 21″W x 49″H
  • Max Inseam: 35″
  • Max user weight: 220-Lb
  • Unit weight: 49-lb
  • Seat height: 15″


  • N/A


  • Considered to be the best in the range of inexpensive machines in most magnetic rowing machine reviews.
  • The major plus is its attractive price.
  • Silent belt drive and magnetic tension system.
  • Fully stuffed U-shape seat provides comfortable body position during the rowing workouts.
  • Collapsible design achieves the purpose of easy storage.


  • The display generates no backlight, so it can be hard to workout in the dark.
  • The monitor doesn’t support such advanced functions as wireless heart rate straps connectivity or showing the distance.
  • The handlebars is not ergonomically correctly designed.
  • Lack of warranty, so you have to buy it separately.

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6. SF-RW5515 Sunny Health And Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

water rower

Sunny Health and Fitness is among the most popular producers of rowing machines speaking about its affordability and quality. The brand has grown significantly in the last few years due to releasing best magnetic rowers and other devices for cardio fitness.

SF-RW5515 Sunny rower is probably the most well-known production of the company. It managed to gain about a thousand mostly satisfy reviews on Amazon. Buying this magnetic rowing machine is a perfect decision for a novice.

This sports equipment integrates 8 levels of resistance adjusted with a convenient tension knob and quiet steady belt drive system. In addition to that, SF-RW5515 Sunny Health and Fitness rower features a seat with extra padding, capable non-slip footrests and collapsible construction.

Although it is listed as one of the best magnetic rowing machines for indoor use under $250, it cannot boast an impressive LDC which is common for this price range. The monitor displays time, count, total count and calories burnt, but it is not backlit and shows no heart rate or distance.

The handle is not designed ergonomically which is quite a common issue for the machines of this price category. Yet it is padded and slip free, attached by webbing and has a very smooth pull action.

Another attractive feature of this top low-cost fitness equipment is the adjustability to a wide range of users height. This magnetic rower can accommodate persons up to 42″.

As a conclusion it’s one of the prime compact rowers that offer a training suitable for a user without any rowing experience. Get familiar with the detailed list of its plus and minuses.

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  • Assembled dimensions: 82″L x 19″W x 23″H
  • Folded dimensions: 37″L x 19″W x 53″H
  • Max Inseam: 42″
  • Max user weight: 250-Lb
  • Unit weight: 59-lb
  • Seat height: 20″


  • 90-Day all parts
  • 3 years frame


  • Convenient accommodation for all user heights.
  • Easy to fold construction which is good for anyone in the situation of space constraints.
  • Anti-slip regulated foot pedals and attractive price.


  • SF-RW5515 Sunny rower keeps no track of distance in meters.
  • The handle is made in shape of a straight bar without consideration for anatomic features.
  • Short period of warranty, like in most other simulators of this price range.
  • Non-aluminum slide rail.

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7. Merax Folding Magnetic Exercise Rower

wooden rowing machine

The last but not the least in our rowing machine consumer reports is Merax magnetic rowing machine for indoor use. This home sports equipment with laconic design can be easily folded up for optimal storage. The most remarkable thing about this magnetic resistance rowing machine is the position of a seat and angle of slope of the rail.

The rail is set at an angle of 15 degrees which helps to make the intensity higher and provide much more consistent training for the lower-body muscles in comparison with straight leveled beams. During the phase of recovery the seat is downhill, when moving in the opposite direction, the seat is uphill respectively, which effectively involves the group of leg muscles.

This magnetic rower is equipped with the foot pedals that are adjustable to be suitable for your comfortable body position. This alleviates the load for your ankles. What about the display, it’s not the best which is common for this price tag. You can keep an eye on total count, count, time and calories but heart rate and distance are not available.

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The simulator by Merax is equipped with the tension dial to conveniently alter the intensity of your rowing training. With one twist, you can select stronger or weaker tension from 8 levels of resistance. So, you can experience the challenging and stable load during the whole workout.

The price of Merax indoor magnetic rowing machine is less than $250, but its design and quality are unbeatable for the price. This exercise machine is perfect for handling indoors by one user. Keep in mind that it is not the best possible variant for an expert. One more pleasant opportunity is to save on shipping cost when buying it.

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  • Assembled dimensions: 73″L x 1″W x 21″H
  • Folded dimensions: 26″L x 16″W x 49″H
  • Max Inseam: 35″
  • Max user weight: 265-Lb
  • Unit weight: 74-lb
  • Seat height: 15″


  • N/A


  • The rail is set at an angle of 15 degrees which helps to increase the load.
  • This compact simulator is rated as the best rowing machine under $300.
  • Since it is the folding exercise rower, it can save you much space.
  • Other key points of this device are reliable belt and smooth drive.
  • Purchase of this magnetic rower won’t strain the wallet.


  • The display is quite basic and has no backlight.
  • Merax does not offers warranty for this magnetic rower.

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8. Goplus GymMax Water Fluid Rowing Machine w/ Backlit LCD

wood rower machine

Like all the various other greatest water rower rowing makers on this listing thus far, the Goplus rowing machine utilizes water balance wheel to energy the rowing activity with a premium leak-resistance tank to guarantee an enjoyable long everyday life. While it is actually not as fantastic to think about as a lumber WaterRower fluid rowing maker, it can producing a reasonable and also silent home rowing exercise session.
The Goplus water rower is durable, spending plan friendly and likewise comfortable. It includes a padded seat and also high-rise building framework that makes it easier to get on and likewise off the chair. The resistance might be plainly tough depending upon the volume of the water you position in the container. It has a number of degrees of resistance as well as a specially developed ball-bearing rolling body that makes it possible for smoother rowing improving the fluidity of the motion.
In addition to an optimal body weight ability of 220 pounds, this maker is suitable for lots of motorcyclists and also it is actually obvious that the structure is definitely not as long lasting as the Sunny water rower. It is lighter in weight since it is constructed from premium light weight aluminum that makes it easier for you to move the rower in the home. Still, this is really a noise, capable rowing devices at a practical cost. Especially when you consider it possesses ergonomic rowing device handle/seat in addition to high rankings.

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In addition, this budget friendly water rower is in fact geared up with an app-compatible exercise display screen. It connects to each IOS as well as Android gadgets and also makes it possible for exercise session tracking on the GoPlus App. Atop that, this budget rower has a tablet/phone holder and connect to non-coded breast straps for accurate soul rate tracking.
The only pair of downsides of the finances water rowing equipment are the keeping design (it can not be held remaining with the water in the container) and no watt/power analysis. While it has a huge blue backlit LCD keep an eye on that successfully shows your rowing strength in duration, strokes, fats, range, in addition to heart rate, it can not track a crucial metric (watt). In general, it is a budget friendly water rowing maker for home use.

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Pros And Cons Of Magnetic Rowing Machines:



An attractive aspect to mention about the magnetic resistance rowing machines is that they are remarkably silent, as well as, for instance, magnetic spin bikes. If we compare magnetic vs water rower or air rower, the first generates almost no noise.

So, if you are not willing to bother your home folks when you train, a magnetic rower will be a perfect match.

Require less maintenance

Water is not used in this type of rowing simulators. That’s why there couldn’t be any leakings, there is no need to regularly change the water or purify it with special cleaners. Besides when you increase or decrease the load, the details don’t come into direct contact with each other and therefore are longer in serve.

The tension in all magnetic rowers alters using the basic common principle: it becomes weaker or stronger when the magnets get nearer or further from the flywheel.

More compact

In comparison between water or air vs magnetic rowing machines the last often take remarkably less space. Due to the principle of their work, they often have much more compact drive mechanism, which makes it pretty space-saving. So, if you are short of space in your apartment, you will appreciate these indoor sports equipment.


The price of a magnetic resistance rowing machine is often more attractive than that of other types of rowing machines. It is possible to spent near $200 and gain all the benefits of your home fitness equipment.

Integrate preset workout programs

Comparing water and air vs magnetic rowers, if the device is equipped with electromagnetic system or induction system, the user can operate with pre-programmed workouts. This means that you can set high load or low impact program in advance depending on goals you want to achieve.

It can be also very convenient if you should work only within a certain heart rate range for medical reasons. The system will carefully watch the level of pressure to make sure you do not exceed the allowed heart rate.

water rower


Have fixed resistance

It means that magnetic rowers always perform on the same level no matter how fast you move. You just settle the level of resistance, and it remains the same without consideration of your speed. On the other side, the air and water rowers respond to your movements. So, despite the fact you have already set the tension, it can be automatically corrected the same instance you begin to row faster or slower.

Moreover, air magnetic rowers also alternate the resistance according to your performance. They combine the features of both static and dynamic resistance.

Less motivating

When training on a magnetic resistance rowing machine the entire stroke will be monotonous. There is no imitation of real rowing in a boat neither with a sound nor with a feeling of water.

There is no change in tension throughout the entire stroke.  So, sometimes expert users find it not as interesting and inspiriting as with water and air rowers.

Equipped with less accurate computers

Depending on the price of your sporting equipment, it can feature from quite basic to rather complex computer which can surprise you with its preset programs or online competitions.

On the other hand, basically they cannot calculate the level of pressure very precisely, speaking about magnetic rowers vs air rowers. It’s not a big deal if you are not preparing to serious rowing competitions.

General benefits of rowing machines:

Upper body workout

An aspect to mention about a rowing machine is that it gives a whole-body workout, as opposed to such activities as spinning, recumbent or upright bike. Unlike running or biking that workout 45% of muscles, rowing involves 87% of muscles. With an optimal air, water or magnetic rowing machine you can perform a comprehensive lower and upper body workout.

Rowing utilizes such group of muscles as shoulders, upper back, lats and biceps. If you train regularly, it will also strengthen your core muscles. The fact you don’t lose a grip on the handlebar will help you to develop strong wrists and hands as well.

Lower body workout

Another one huge plus of rowing exercises is the lower body workout. Great amount of legs muscles is working throughout the training. Quadriceps, thighs, glutes and calf muscles become stronger and stronger along with your progress.

Easy to use

You can successfully do exercises on a rower without any help because they are quite intuitive. All you have to remember is to watch your posture and order of movements. Adjustment is not necessary for this sporting equipment as well.

You can hop on your indoor simulator and start a training right after it is purchased and assembled.

Low-impact and universal

This sports equipment suits for people of any age and level of training. No matter whether it is a simple device or an advanced machine, it provides low impact training as opposed to, let’s say, spin bike or treadmill. Such workout is easy on the joints and develops the density of bones.

Prime simulators of this kind are equipped with a soft seat that follows the shape of a body. It provides the perfectly comfortable position when training. Besides, the impact is also very low because you don’t have to lean forward or take the feet of the machine as with spinning or treadmill.

Cardio and Strength

One more point about rowers is that they also include the cardio and strength workout, which keeps you in good shape and tone muscles.

Apart from cardio, strength and toning, consistent rowing trainings will develop your balance and flexibility as well. There is no doubt, that rowing machine can truly build muscles.

Easy to store and portable

Unlike spin bikes, treadmills, ellipticals or recumbents, this kind of exercise equipment often has a collapsible construction. When the training is over, you can fold your device in a couple of minutes and keep it in vertical position till the next time. A rower takes not very much room, even if your simulator does not have a function of folding up.

Frankly speaking, you only need approximately 2 square feet for storage. Both folding exercise rowers and non-folding ones have steady wheels for easy transportation. As a rule indoor simulators are not very heavy, so you can move them out of the way without much effort.

Weight loss

Machines of high, medium and low price ranges, air, water or magnetic rowing machine – all of them are great muscle toners and calorie burners. An hour of home rowing training burns approximately 900 calories. This number is relatively big in comparison with other kinds of rowers for apartment use.

The reason is that rowing provides the whole-body cardio training. Combination of rowing exercises and a healthy diet will help you to achieve your goals more effectively.

water rowing machine

Guide on purchasing the perfect magnetic rowing machine for home


ElectroMagnetic Rowers

The braking system of magnetic rowing machines can be subdivided into two kinds: the manual, and the electromagnetic resistance.

With the first type you twist the knob manually, with the second one you push the button to settle the load. The advantage of electromagnetic rowers is high accuracy. The level of tension in them is being set automatically to make the rowing more challenging and stable.

For instance, if you select a preset program that imitates the mountain landscape, the load will automatically change when you move up and down respectively. Another magnificent point of the simulators of this kind is the possibility to settle the certain heart rate range.

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It means that you can set a program with the lowest and the highest heart rate, and your device will track it to make sure you do not exceed the settled heart rate range. The machines of electromagnetic resistance system are considered to be the best magnetic rowing machines. In our list of rowing machine consumer reports, this type is also presented.

Manual Magnetic Rowers

A manual rower is a rower that has something that differs from a button: a knob, a dial, a lever, etc. As opposed to the previous kind, manual magnetic rowers don’t need to be connected to power circuit. That will help you to save electricity and train in any place you want. The downside of such fitness machines is that they lack high accuracy and cannot automatically alternate the load.

So, when you select a certain preset program, the level of resistance will stay the same till the end. Almost 80% of magnetic rowing machines feature the manual system which makes them more affordable compared electromagnetic rowers.

Rower Inseam length

When you choose the sporting equipment for home, one of the most important factors is to check the user height capacity. How far the seat can go along the beam determines the user height accommodation.

The seat on the prime samples of this device can go from one end to the other the distance from 36″ to 39″ which can accommodate users up to 6’8″.

Keep in mind that if the distance the seat can go along the beam is not long enough, you may not get a full leg extension.

In that case, you will not be able to enjoy all the benefits of your device. When you want to buy your best magnetic rowing machine, bear in mind the height of all participants who are going to train.

Magnetic Rower Foldability

Some people have the wrong impression that all the rowing machines have a collapsible construction, but that is not correct. So, if you are looking for a machine for your tiny apartment, make sure that it is actually a folding exercise rower. Some of the great samples of this training equipment are included into this guide.

Weight Capacity of Indoor Rower

When you are going to buy a home rower or any other type of indoor exercise equipment, double-check whether it can accommodate your weight and height. The weight capacity indicates the sturdiness of the machine.

So, while reading these magnetic rowing machine reviews, check the characteristics to make sure the simulator of your dreams will support the weight of all potential users.

Magnetic Rower Price

The price is determined by the features and quality of the device. Sometimes it also varies depending on the place where you buy the sports equipment. Some third-party retailers might have a magnetic rowing machine for sale which obviously costs less. But in general, the price can vary from $100 to more than $3000.

As for the place of a purchase, we strongly recommend Amazon. There are loads of options and from time to time you might find a magnetic rowing machine for sale and save your money.

Warranty and shipping

Generous warranty is a sign of high quality. Our advice is to consider the warranty terms as a proof of true quality. The best magnetic rowing machines often offer up to 5 years of warranty on parts and lifetime on frame.

Shipping of such goods as sporting equipment can be very hard sometimes since they are heavy and bulky. So, to avoid surprises, double-check the shipping policy of the device before buying. To make it easier for you, each magnetic rower review in this guide is completed with warranty terms.

Brands and customer services

Perhaps one of the main reasons why most people buy the equipment for their home gym from reputable brands is their high attention to warranty and excellent customer service. Sometimes it becomes so difficult to get in touch with not very famous brands that finally you give up.

And when you are finally able to establish a communication line, they can make any excuse not to honor their warranty. Therefore, if you can afford it, we highly recommend you to consider buying your fitness equipment from time-proof gym equipment brands.

Some of the items enlisted in these rowing machine consumer reports are from high-end brands in North America. They offer good support and stand with their products.

Indoor Rower Drive-System

A magnetic resistance rowing machine can utilize either a belt or a chain. The difference is that a chain requires more maintenance (cleaning, adjusting, oiling, etc) and makes more noise compared to abelt.

If you are looking for a perfect fitness machine, it’s seems quite logical you seek for a low-maintenance and silent rower. So, try to look for a magnetic rower that has a belt rather than a chain.

Best rowing technique

The best way to exercise on a rower is to remember the leg-arm and arm-legs technique. The rowing exercise consists of two parts known as drive and recovery. When you pull backward is the drive phase and when you go forward is the recovery phase.

To make sure you are practicing the right technique follow these steps beginning from the start point also known as the catch position.

Keep your back 10 degrees leaned forward and your hands stretched horizontally and slide forward until your shins are vertical. This is the start point.

Now you can begin to go backward by pulling with the legs till they are stretched fully, then lean your back 10 degrees toward the rear of the rower and then pull the handles to the body. The next step is to reverse the order of all these movements to go forward. To better understand the optimal way to train with a rower and the rowing techniques, check out this video.

Seat and handlebars

The training becomes much more pleasant if you are comfortable and your fitness machine has an ergonomic design. Two important factors that make water, air or magnetic rower ergonomic are the seat and handlebars. So, look for an ergonomically designed seat with sufficient cushioning when looking for an exercise machine.

Also pay attention to durable rollers system since it is the key factor in creating a smooth operation. The duration of service for plastic rollers is much shorter. In addition to that, make sure the height of the seat is easy to get on and off. If you don’t have good balance, the seat should be not very high to be safer for you. These rowing machine consumer reports include a few inexpensive variants with cushioned low seats.

Some budget rowing machines for sale that you may find on the market have handles in shape of a straight bar. They often add stress on your wrists and don’t allow a strong grip. So, if you decide on an inexpensive simulator, make sure the handle provides you low-stress grip and allows to fully pull the handle to your body for a better arm workout.

Rowing computer

Computers of air, water and magnetic rowing machines vary regarding how much money you can spend. Computers from very simple to advanced ones have different number of preset programs, rowing games and connectivity. We suggest you to look for monitors that support USB or Bluetooth and equipped with backlight for easy training even in the dark.

USB connectivity allows you to save your daily stats for monthly progress tracking. And with Bluetooth you have a chance to join online rowing racing apps to compete with other participants on the web and share your progress on social platforms.

Keep in mind that you can hope for a high-end touchscreen monitor only if you buy pricey commercial rowing machines. So, when you are looking for a cheap exercise machine, don’t expect touch-screen wireless-enabled displays. In general rowers under $1000 come with LED backlit monitors which usually don’t have a wireless connection.

Rowing Machine Types:

Magnetic Rowers

Speaking about choosing your perfect device the magnetic resistance rowing machine is the primary choice for people who cannot stand the excessive noise during the workout. The magnetic rowers are equipped with quiet resistance mechanisms that permit not to disturb your home folks and clearly listen to music.

As for the price, it depends on the features of a magnetic rower. Often air magnetic rowers are more expensive because they combine two types of resistance. Note that every item in this list of reviews is a magnetic rower or air magnetic rower.

It is near to silent (pros)

It requires little maintenance (pros)

It is affordable (pros)

Except the machines with air-magnetic dual resistance, the resistance is fixed (con)

Water rowing machines

Providing resistance through the water, these rowers offer the physical and mental feeling of real rowing. During the rowing exercise, you will see water and hear water sound which makes it more similar to rowing in a boat.

Advanced rowers often prefer using the elite water rowing machines. If you decide to go for this kind of rower, keep in mind that they require extra maintenance and not as quiet as magnetic rowers.

Offers physical and mental benefits of real rowing (pros)

Resistance automatically responds to your efforts (pros)

Requires water treatment and extra care (cons)

It’s relatively loud (cons)

Can be very expensive (cons)

Air Rowers

The most wide-spread type of a rower is the air rowing machine. The reason is they require less maintenance than water rowers and provide responsive tension level that automatically changes based on your speed. The bad news is that they are relatively loud.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about fixing a leaking tank or changing water. If the noise is not an issue, we recommend an air rower, for example the Concept 2 rowers. They can offer decades of cardiovascular workout for you and your family.

Responsive level of tension (pros)

More challenging resistance (pros)

Very little maintenance (pros)

Affordable price (pros)

Excessive noise (cons)

water rowing machine


Rowing Accessories and Clothing:

Equipment Mat

When you train with a magnetic rower or any other exercise machine, you create a vibration that causes noise and can scratch the floor. We recommend you to consider buying an equipment mat in addition to your magnetic resistance rowing machine.

Knee Pad

Indoor rowing exercise can sometimes cause pain in the upper knees, especially if you had surgeries. We highly suggest you to purchase a pair of knee support braces.

Rowing Gloves

Rowing workout makes your hands sweaty and sometimes slippery which is not safe and comfortable. When you purchase the chosen best magnetic rowing machine, we recommend you to consider a pair of protective rowing glove.

Seat Cushion

Some users suffer from tailbone pain during the rowing exercise. Choose the fitness machine for your home gym, test it and see if it needs extra padding. Or you can buy the thick memory foam cushion with your rower at the same time.


Author of article
Steven Hopkins
Welcome to my website, or even a blog. For the past 15 years, I have regularly visited the gym, spending at least 2 hours a day there. I love protein shakes, quality athletic shoes, and I know a lot about exercise equipment. This is my hobby. Every day I run kilometers on the treadmill, do dozens of push-UPS, and hundreds of pull-UPS on the uneven bars. Sport is my life...  
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