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Best Rowing Machine: 5 Proven Choices for Home Gyms 

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Trying to buy the best rowing machine can be an absolute nightmare.  

There are just so many choices out there, and with so many people presenting different options, it can be hard to separate the good from the bad.  

This is why we decided to make this list featuring 5 proven rowing machines that are high-quality, reliable, and have been tried and tested by thousands of people. 

 Let’s get right into it and take a look at a few of our top choices for the best rowing machine.  

The Best Rowing Machines 

Best Overall – Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine 

Price: £239.99
Reasons to Buy
  • Good price
  • Well-known/reliable brand
  • High quality
  • Extremely adjustable

Our number one pick for the best home rowing machine has to go to the Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine. 

This rowing machine has incredible value, has a reasonable price tag, is produced by a well-known brand, and has a variety of different settings and adjustments available.  

As well as being affordable for a machine of its category, the Sunny Health is a high-quality rowing machine that is perfect for experts and beginners alike.  

You are just not going to get a rowing machine with better value than this. 

While there are other options that are both more expensive and cheaper than the Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine, the package that this option provides puts it well ahead of its competitors.  

2. Highest Quality – Concept2 

Price: £990.00
Reasons to Buy
  • Will last your entire life 
  • Established as the best in the industry 
  • Professional   

If you are looking for the highest quality rowing machine, the Concept2 is going to be your best bet.

To put it simply; this is a professional rowing machine.

If you are serious about training or are an athlete training for a certain sport, then this is the kind of machine you need to optimise your training.

While it might be on the more expensive side of things, it is still great value for the package it offers – other rowing machines of a similar quality are normally twice its price.

It’s also garnered a reputation for being one of the best rowing machines in the industry, and it is the common recommendation for athletes or dedicated hobbyists.

3. Best Budget – Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205

Price: £91.76
Reasons to Buy
  • Inexpensive 
  • A great entry point 
  • Good quality  
  • Surprisingly durable 

For those of you who are just getting into rowing or on a tight budget, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is a great starter machine to get you into this sport.  

It is inexpensive and surprisingly durable for a rowing machine of its price. 

Coming in at a staggering low cost of £91.76, you are just not going to get a cheaper option than this without sacrificing quality. 

While the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 might not be the highest-quality rowing machine in the world, it is leaps and bounds ahead of other rowing machines of a similar price point.

This rowing machine is a solid choice, and if you want to upgrade, you can always do so later down the line! (not that you would need too – for some, this rowing machine will be a perfect long-term solution too). 

4. Best For LCD Screen – LZ Leisure Zone BTM

Price: £214.99
Reasons to Buy
  • Has a Shelf for LCD screen 
  • Foldable design  
  • Good price 
  • Long-lasting  

The LZ Leisure Zone BTM is a rowing machine that comes with somewhat of an interesting feature; it has an LCD screen shelf. 

This is something that you usually see on rowing machines with a much higher price tag than this, and it can give you a sense of luxury while still being incredibly affordable.  

Aside from the obvious benefits, this model is also foldable, making it one of the best rowing machines for the people that do not have a lot of space at home.  

Additionally, The LZ Leisure Zone BTM is known for being surprisingly long-lasting – do not expect to be replacing this one anytime soon.  

This rowing machine is a great choice overall, and for some, it is going to be an ideal pick.  

5. Best Alternative – JLL R200 

Price: £284.99
Reasons to Buy
  • A solid option all around
  • 1-year warranty
  • Easily transportable

The JLL R200 has been named the “best home rowing machine 2022”, and there is a good reason why this is the case. 

This rowing machine is notorious for its user-friendly features and general utility. For starters, this is one of the quietest rowing machines on the market. 

If you don’t want a noisy rowing machine, the JLL R200 would be a great pick. 

It also comes with 10 levels of resistance, giving you a ton of options for workouts.  

On top of this, this rowing machine is incredibly compact and easy to transport. It has inbuilt wheels and can always be folded up and tucked away in storage.  

That goes without mentioning its free 1-year warranty, giving it even better value than some of its competitors. 

If none of the options we have listed so far seem like a good fit for you, then the JLL R200 might just be your saving grace.  

How to Buy the Best Rowing Machine 

There are a variety of factors you have to consider if you want to buy the best rowing machine for you.  

First and foremost, you need to consider your budget. 

If you are limited to a certain price range or do not plan on using your rowing machine too often, then it’s safe to say that you will be better off going for a more inexpensive option like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205. 

However, if you have the space (which is another crucial factor), as well as the funds to go with a higher model, then it is generally recommended to do so. 

While cost does not always correlate with quality, there is an upwards trend between the two.  

To make things simple, you should just go with the best rowing machine that your budget can afford. 

This way, you can ensure that you are getting access to the best rowing machine that is accessible to you without breaking the bank.   

How to Buy the Best Rowing Machine for Home Use 

To buy the best rowing machine for home use, you need to consider your budget, what you plan on using your rowing machine for, as well as the space that you have available.  

If you are training to be an Olympic athlete and can dedicate an entire room to fitness equipment, then you might want to go with one of the higher-quality options like the Concept2. 

However, if you have very limited space and just want to use your rowing machine recreationally, then it would be better to go for a more compact option like the LZ Leisure Zone BTM. 

It really does depend on your current living situation as well as your budget and intended use.  

Best Rowing Machine Brands 

The best rowing machine brands are Sunny Health and Fitness, Concept2, LZ Leisure Zone, and JLL. 

All of these brands have been perfecting their craft for years, and the current fitness products they offer to the public is a glaring testament to this. 

When it comes to value, quality, and reliability, you cannot beat these brands.  

How We Selected Prices and Retailers 

We selected prices and retailers using a variety of different checks.  

For one, we made sure to take a look at the best rowing machines consumer reports to see which rowing machines were actually received positively. 

From here, we checked over a ton of the top options in the industry to see which offered the best value for the lowest prices. 

We also decided to include a wide range of options at different price points so there was a little something there for everyone.  

That goes without mentioning the fact that we ensured each product we featured excelled in some area and was the best choice in its category. 

Using data, personal experience, and reviews from customers, we crafted our decisive list that features all of the best rowing machines on the market right now.  

What Muscles Do Rowing Machines Work? 

Rowing machines work your upper and lower body, including your core muscles.  

A rowing stroke can activate your glutes, lats, quadriceps and abdominal muscles at the same time, making it a great exercise for people that want to get into better shape or build muscle. 

Benefits of Rowing Machines 

There are a ton of benefits to rowing machines.  

Rowing machines can give you a full body workout, leading to muscle growth all around the body as well as burning off a significant amount of fat. 

They can also improve bone density, boost mood, and reduce the chances of obesity – the list goes on. 

Here are a few of the most notable benefits to rowing machines:  

  • Full-body workout 
  • Low impact 
  • Improves cardiovascular health 
  • Increases muscle strength 
  • Improves posture 
  • Burns calories 
  • Improves endurance 
  • Enhances flexibility 
  • Lowers stress levels 
  • Improves sleep quality 

Should I Row Every Day? 

Yes, you should row every day, as long as you do so at a moderate intensity and don’t over-exert yourself.  

Rowing has a ton of health benefits, and it is one of the only workouts that targets the upper and the lower body at the same time.  

Rowing also works your core muscles, making it the ultimate workout that can be enjoyed by people at any stage in their lives. 

How Much Should You Expect to Pay for a Rowing Machine?

Cheap Rowing Machines 

For an inexpensive rowing machine, you can expect to pay around £100.  

While you may be able to find options that are less expensive than this, anything below the £100-ish mark is just not going to be worth your time. 

Mid-Range Rowing Machines 

Mid-range rowing machines generally cost around £200-500.  

For most people, this is going to be the best price range that matches good quality with affordability.  

High-End Rowing Machines 

Once you start getting around the £1000 range, this is where you start to get into professional-level quality rowing machines.  

Anything around or over £1000 is going to be good enough for even the most professional gyms, and they will also be suitable for talented athletes and dedicated hobbyists.  

How Much Space do you Need for a Rowing Machine? 

A rowing machine does not require a lot of space, but it is recommended to leave approximately nine by four feet of room for this equipment.  

The most popular place to put your rowing machine is the garage or a spare room, but if you do not have these options, it is always possible to fit the rowing machine into the living room or a bedroom.  

Some models like The LZ Leisure Zone BTM are foldable – making it easier to store them anywhere in the home. 

Where to Buy a Rowing Machine 

You can buy a rowing machine online and in-store.  

Rowing machines can come at different prices and sizes depending on their location, which is why sometimes it is better to have a quick look online at the best options for you. 

Key Rowing Machine Features and Essential Specifications 

Resistance Type: There are different types of resistance systems on rowing machines. You need to consider which type of resistance you prefer as well as which best suits your fitness goals. 

Size and Weight: The size and weight of a rowing machine can vary greatly. You need to think about the space you have available for the machine and how easy it will be to move or store. 

Maximum User Weight: Most rowing machines have a maximum weight limit for users. Make sure the machine you choose can accommodate your weight or the weight of anyone who will be using it. 

Display: Most rowing machines have a display that shows information such as time, distance, and calories burned.  

Comfort: Look for a machine with a comfortable seat and handlebars. Some machines may also have foot pedals that can be adjusted for different shoe sizes. 

Adjustability: A rowing machine that is adjustable can be used by people of different heights and body types. Consider if the machine you are looking at has adjustable resistance, foot pedals, and/or seat height. 

Durability: A good rowing machine should be sturdy and durable, able to withstand regular use over time.  

Popular Types of Rowing Machine 

Hydraulic Rowing Machines 

Hydraulic rowing machines use pistons filled with fluid to create resistance. They are typically smaller and more affordable than other types of rowing machines but do not usually provide as smooth or consistent of a workout.

Corded Rowing Machines 

These machines use a cord or cable attached to a resistance mechanism, which can be adjusted to increase or decrease the difficulty of the workout. They are often compact and lightweight, making them a good option for home use. 

Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machines 

Magnetic resistance rowing machines use a magnetic brake system to create resistance. The resistance can be adjusted electronically, and these machines tend to be quieter and smoother than hydraulic or corded machines. 

Air Resistance Rowing Machines 

These machines use a flywheel that spins as you row, creating resistance. The harder and faster you row, the more resistance you’ll feel. These machines can be quite loud, but are generally considered to provide a more realistic rowing experience. 

Water Resistance Rowing Machines 

Water resistance rowing machines use a tank of water and paddles to create resistance. As with air resistance machines, the harder and faster you row, the more resistance you’ll feel.  

These machines are often considered to provide the most realistic rowing experience but can be quite expensive and heavy. 

How to Use a Rowing Machine 

Sit up Straight 

The first step to using a rowing machine is to get onto the machine and sit up straight. 

Keeping your back straight is the most important part of using a rowing machine, and if you forget this point, the effectiveness of the exercise will be reduced drastically. 

That goes without mentioning the increased chance of injury that comes if you do not keep your back straight.

Keep Your Arms Below the Chin 

Once you are sitting in an upright position, grab the cable.  

Make sure your arms are below your chin – if they go above, you could end up injuring yourself.  

Don’t Drop Your Knees 

One of the most common mistakes people make when using rowing machines is dropping their knees.  

Once you get onto the rowing machine, you want to make sure your knees are firm and strong.  

This does absolutely not mean that you should push with your knees – just that there is some tension and your knees are not weak.  

Strap in Your Feet 

The last step is to strap in your feet. 

Many people skip this step, but it is important for a few key reasons. 

For one, strapping in your feet allows you to have a stronger base to push into, making your workout more effective. 

On top of this, it can also be incredibly frustrating when your feet slip off the pads mid-exercise.  

Something as simple as strapping in your feet can help you avoid these problems and more.  

Best Rowing Machine – FAQs 


Is it Safe to Row Every Day? 

Yes, it is safe to row every day.  

Rowing has a ton of health benefits, and it is one of the most effective exercises that you can do at home.

What Muscles Does a Rowing Machine Work? 

The rowing machine works muscles in the lower body, upper body, and core muscles all at once, making it perfect for those that want to build muscle and maintain their strength. 

What is the Difference Between a Magnetic, Air and Water-Powered Rowing Machine? 

The difference between a magnetic, air and water-powered rowing machine is that you can get a precise resistance level with a magnetic machine, air-powered machines have a ton of resistance levels, and water-powered machines mimic the feel of real rowing. 

How Much Do You Need to Spend on a Rowing Machine? 

The amount that you need to spend on a rowing machine can be anywhere between £90 – £1,000.

Rowing doesn’t have to be expensive, and anybody can start at any time they want. 

What is the Best Rowing Machine for Home Gym? 

The best rowing machine for home gym is the Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine.  

This rowing machine is affordable, high-quality, and can easily be adjusted for any user.  

Do I Need a Rowing Machine Mat? 

No, you do not need a rowing machine mat for rowing.  

Although, a mat can protect against sweat and spillage. 

Does the Level of Resistance on a Rowing Machine Matter? 

Yes, the level of resistance on a rowing machine matters because higher resistance settings will work the muscles more.  

Lower settings will offer lower-intensity workouts. 

What is the Best Rowing Machine UK? 

The best rowing machine UK is the Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine as it is high-quality and affordable.  

This machine is perfect for beginners and experienced rowers. 

We hope our best rowing machines reviews will be of use to you! 

Searches like “best rowing machines 2022 UK” and “best rowing machines 2022” are incredibly common despite the fact that we are now in 2023 – it seems as though 2022 was a good year for rowing machines! 

If you choose to go with any of the options we featured on our list, you will be in for an incredible time. 

If you would like more product recommendations or are interested in self-improvement, feel free to check out MovingForwards

Giving our picks for the best rowing machine is just one of our many specialities.  

Keep MovingForwards.