10 Best Rowing Machines in 2024, According to Rowing Coaches

“[Concept 2 rowers] are used in gyms, CrossFit boxes, sports clubs, rowing clubs, and rowing national teams the world over,” he explains. “All official rowing machine world records are set on this machine. They are utterly dependable, very long-lasting; the data is accurate and comparable from one machine to another—London to Timbuktu.” With a price point under $1,000, they’re more accessible than many pricier new models (like the Ergatta and the Peloton Row), but don’t skimp on functionality. ”If it’s performance, accuracy, reliability, and value for money, I’d highly recommend a Concept 2,” concludes Gregory. “You can’t go wrong.”

Eddy Mog, head coach at Row New York, agrees that the Concept 2s have set the standard for rowing machines. Our testers loved that you could tailor the rower to be 14 or 20 inches off the ground, depending on your height. If you’re allergic to leaving your gym equipment where visitors may accidentally see it, a quick-release mechanism allows you to unlock the machine into two separate pieces for storage.

Concept 2 won’t offer some of the more high-design features of the Hydrow Wave below, as the live rowing classes stream to your machine, giving you the sensation of being out on the water. But if pure machine, no bells and whistles, is what you’re looking for, there’s no better option out there than Concept 2.


Ash Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor

For a workout that’s as meditative as it is effective, our testers found their inner calm with the WaterRower. The handcrafted wood frame and water resistance team up for an aesthetically premium experience.

The Expert Tester’s Take

For some, workouts are a chance to go full beast mode—Beats blasting heavy metal, channeling any of the day’s rage and frustration into every lift or speed increase on the tread. Others, however, relish the chance to tune out the world and tune into their bodies. If that’s you, the WaterRower may be for you.

Not only does it look slick in any home, thanks to the wooden frame (available in oak, ash, walnut, cherry, or maple), but the calming sound of water swishing through the flywheel instantly transports you to Boston’s Charles River. That water resistance has a purpose beyond lowering your blood pressure: It mimics rowing on the actual water (obviously), and it challenges you with dynamic resistance. The harder you pull, the more the water will “fight back,” so to speak (for comparison, rowers with electromagnetic resistance keep a constant drag at all times).

Aside from the aesthetics, it’s worth noting that the WaterRower doesn’t have a built-in tablet, and it doesn’t require a membership. If you’re a data nerd, you won’t be satisfied with what the WaterRower offers on its simple monitor. The 700-pound weight capacity is the highest of any rowing machine we tested, so almost anyone can settle in for the ride.

Assault Fitness

AssaultRower Pro

Maybe you’re a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy whose wardrobe consists of perfect white tees and timeless jeans. If so, we’re betting you’ll love the AssaultRower Pro and its back-to-basics approach to rowing.

The Expert Tester’s Take

Aside from a few batteries for the digital console, the AssaultRower Pro requires absolutely zero set-up—not even an electrical outlet, since the flywheel is a giant fan. This rower is human-powered, and like the water resistance on the WaterRower, the harder you pull, the tougher your workout becomes.

While the Peloton and the Hydrow Wave wow you with flashy tech, the AssaultRower Pro earns its keep in durability, construction, and commercial-grade materials. Because it doesn’t require any electricity, you can work out wherever you please (and without the bulky touchscreen, it’s pretty easy to roll, too). Put simply, this thing is a beast. It wouldn’t look out of place at your local CrossFit box—and at under $1,000, it’s a damn good deal, too.

Sure, there’s not a touchscreen, and maybe the seat could be a little more padded. But if the aim of your rowing workouts is to get in, get sweaty, and get out, the AssaultRower is the best rowing machine for you.

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