The 7 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines for the Avid Rower in 2023

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Magnetic rowers are some of the most popular, for various reasons. They have a number of advantages over other types of rowing machines, so if you’re looking to buy one, we’ve listed the 7 best magnetic rowing machines you’ll find on the market today.

If you’re thinking of buying one (but don’t have time to read the entire article), we highly recommend the ProForm 750R Rower. The inertia-enhanced flywheel allows for a natural rowing feeling, helped by the multi-position handlebars, and it folds into a space-saving design to fit into any space. 

Someone at the gym using the best magnetic rowing machine
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But it’s not the only great option out there! Read through our full list to find the piece of equipment that works best for you.

In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks

ProForm 750R Folding Smart Rower with 30-Day All-Access iFIT Membership
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Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine with Bluetooth Workout Tracking Built-In, Additional Full Body Extended Exercises, App Compatible, Tablet Holder, Rowing Machines for Home Use
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Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower with 8-Level Resistance, Extended Slide Rail & Digital LCD Display - SF-RW5515
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ECHANFIT Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine for Home Use Foldable w/16 Level of Quiet Magnetic Resistance with LCD Monitor and Adjustable Console Angle for Cardio Training (CR49)
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SCHWINN Crewmaster Rower 100660, Gray
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YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine 350 LB Weight Capacity - Foldable Rower for Home Use with LCD Monitor, Tablet Holder and Comfortable Seat Cushion
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NordicTrack Smart Rower with 22” HD Touchscreen and 30-Day iFIT Family Membership
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Product's nameBest Overall
ProForm 750R Folding Smart Rower with 30-Day All-Access iFIT...
Best Budget Rowing Machine
Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine with Bluetooth...
Best Magnetic Rowing Machine for Beginners
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower with...
Best Weight Capacity
ECHANFIT Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine for Home Use Foldable...
Best Warranty
SCHWINN Crewmaster Rower 100660, Gray
Best for Tall Rowers
YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine 350 LB Weight Capacity -...
20 resistance levels, more than enough for excellent progression from beginner to intermediate.
NordicTrack Smart Rower with 22” HD Touchscreen and 30-Day...
VerdictGreat resistance options, highly durable design, although on the lower end of weight capacity. Excellent array of built-in workouts.Surprisingly excellent budget rower with Bluetooth, usually only seen on more expensive rowers.Rather basic rower, but great for complete newbies. Also higher weight capacity makes it's great for new rowers who want to lose weight.Heavy rowers will be stable and secure on this rower. Durable, quiet, and enough resistance levels for good progression.Fewer resistance levels, but may be okay for very new rowers. Excellent warranty makes it a good choice to add.Love that you can choose between 8 or 16 resistance levels. Long rail and high weight capacity, ideal for tall rowers.20 resistance levels, more than enough for excellent progression from beginner to intermediate.
Resistance Levels24 levels of resistance14 adjustable levels8 adjustable levels16 resistance levels10 resistance levels8 or 16 resistance levels26 resistance levels
NoiseQuiet, around 60 decibelsQuiet belt driveQuietQuietQuiet, belt-driveQuiet, belt driveQuiet, belt drive
DurabilityRobust steel & plastic designStable and durable for a budget rowerAverage, plastic componentsGood for its priceRobust, durableGood durabilityExcellent, robust machine
Dimensions22” x 86.5” x 45.5”88.5” x 21.5” x 21.5”82" x 19" x 23"19.29" x 74.8" x 34.06”.89.1” x 21.1” x 31.7”48.5” x 25.5” x 9.5”82” x 54” x 22”
Weight Capacity250 lbs250 lbs285 lbs350 lbs300 lbs350 lbs250 lbs
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$
Learn moreSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at Amazon

Why Trust BoxLife?

The BoxLife team has decades of fitness experience, both in a personal trainer capacity and on our fitness journeys, and we’re all actively involved in CrossFit at the moment. We’ve rowed thousands of miles between us, and we’ve also tried almost every piece of cardio equipment on the market, including most rowing machines. 

Between all of us, we have all the rower-related knowledge. How they work. How each different type feels. Which one gives you the best workout, and which feels the most natural. 

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine
4.5

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

We use our knowledge to improve our own fitness and reach our goals, but we want to help you reach yours. Which is why we share everything we know here at BoxLife Magazine. So you can use our experience and knowledge to make an informed decision.

Who Is This Guide For? 

If you’re looking for a rowing machine that you can use in an apartment without waking up your loved ones, this guide is for you. 

As well as being extremely quiet, most magnetic rowers are foldable, making them the ideal choice for this a great guide for those who live in small apartments with limited space but still want an amazing workout machine. 

Magnetic rowing machines are suitable for both beginner rowers and advanced rowers, so wherever your skill level is, you’ll find something on this list for you!

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How We Chose the Best Magnetic Rowing Machines 

Our cumulative rowing experience means all of us here at BoxLife know what makes a quality rowing machine. But we went further than just our own knowledge and did in-depth, detailed research to fill in any possible gaps. 

We read Amazon reviews. We browsed sporting goods retailers. Some of us asked our friends’ opinions, and some of us even spent hours on the phone to salespeople who know these machines like the back of their hands. 

We even had full-on discussions on forums like Reddit and Quora to get the best idea of what real people feel about these rowers. To get the most well-rounded views of each of these rowing machines so we could choose the best ones, we spoke to real people about their experiences.

How We Tested Them 

We listed the magnetic rowing machines that people were raving about. But we had to test them for ourselves to make sure they’re worth recommending. Here are the features we focused on when testing: 

  • Resistance Levels 
  • Noise 
  • Durability 
  • Rowing Machine Dimensions
  • Weight Capacity 

Each of these features plays a role in the comfort, effectiveness, and durability of these rowing machines. 

The Best Magnetic Rowing Machine – Our Top Picks

ProForm 750R Rower – Best Overall

The ProForm 750R Rower is a top-quality magnetic rower that comes in at a surprisingly friendly price, making it affordable for almost anyone. 

Why We Love It 

You’d be hard-pressed to find another rowing machine of this quality at the same price point. Rowers like these are expected to cost twice what the ProForm 750R does, which is one of the things we like most about it.  

In terms of quality, it’s a robust machine made of steel that can hold up to 250 pounds of weight, plus it features an oversized steel rail, oversized anti-slip foot pedals, ergonomic soft-touch handlebars, and a comfortable seat. 

With 20 built-in workouts—10 calorie-based and 10 power-based—every rower can benefit from it. There’s also the option to activate the iFit trainer subscription, with a free first month with your purchase. Take note that you don’t need to use it, but it does offer rowing classes and scenic rows which could elevate the excitement of your workouts. 

Dual 2-inch speakers and an auxiliary audio port mean you can listen to your workout music at a decent level. When you’re done, it folds right in half so you can store it easily. 

Even if you go without music, you’ll hardly hear the rower, which comes in at around 60dB. 

Pros

  • Impressively quiet
  • 20 built-in workouts + iFit option
  • Folds up to store in smaller spaces
  • Affordable for its quality

Cons

  • No fan to cool you down
  • Low catch could be awkward
  • Reduced functionality without subscription
  • Lacks live rowing session feature

Key Specs 

Resistance Levels 24 levels of resistance 
Noise +- 60 decibels 
Durability Robust steel & plastic design 
Rowing Machine Dimensions 22” x 86.5” x 45.5” 
Weight Capacity 250 lbs 

Top Choice 

This is the rower we wholeheartedly recommend. It’s a high-end option at an affordable price, and exceptionally quiet. Perfect for every level of rower, every budget, and every living situation.

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rowing Machine – Best Budget Rowing Machine

If you’re on a tight budget, the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rowing Machine is a great choice. It’s decent for the price range, making a great stand-in until you can get a more robust one. 

Why We Like It 

One of the great things about the Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine is that despite its entry-level price, it’s Bluetooth-enabled. This allows you to connect to third-party apps so you can track your progress using your app of choice or follow online rowing workouts. It’s designed with the MyCloudFitness app, where you’ll have a choice of workouts. 

With 14 adjustable resistance levels, there’s enough options to keep beginner and intermediate rowers happy. It’s surprisingly robust for an entry-level machine, weighing around 70 lbs. Keep in mind that this may make it difficult for single people to move or unfold. 

Another impressive feature is the extra-length rail, which means rowers of up to 6’3” or slightly taller should be able to row quite comfortably without cramped legs. Wide footrests with heel support and solid Velcro adjustable foot straps keep you nicely locked in. 

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine
4.5

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

As a nice touch, they’ve added extra, flat footrests on the front of the machine. Stand on them and you can use the handle to perform other strength training exercises like bicep curls, front raises, and more. 

It’s a foldable rower, so fold and roll it out of the way when you’re done. Quiet, convenient, and perfect for burning extra calories quickly. 

Pros

  • 14 resistance levels to choose from 
  • Suitable for rowers up to 6’3” 
  • Bluetooth-enabled 
  • Affordable choice for beginners 

Cons

  • Not suitable for advanced rowers
  • Somewhat heavy

Key Specs 

Resistance Levels 14 adjustable levels 
Noise Quiet belt drive 
Durability Stable for a budget rower 
Rowing Machine Dimensions88.5” x 21.5” x 21.5” 
Weight Capacity 250 lbs 

Beginner- and BudgetFriendly Choice 

Beginner rowers or intermediates looking for a rower that fits their budget will appreciate the build quality and performance of the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus. It’s also a great choice for those who want to get in some extra muscle-building exercises without adding extra equipment to their home gym.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best Magnetic Rowing Machine for Beginners

The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine is a budget-friendly entry-level rower that we highly recommend for complete beginners. 

Why We Like It 

This basic rower is perfect for beginners. It costs around $300, which means you don’t need to break the bank for a machine you may not end up enjoying anyway. But for that price, it does offer more than enough for a new rower to build strength and endurance. 

Eight levels of magnetic resistance allow enough progression for newbies, but it’s likely to be too little for intermediate rowers. It also won’t be the best if you’re planning on doing HIIT workouts, but if you’re planning on using it for less intense workouts for shorter periods, it should be just right. 

Be aware that the display unit is very basic. You’ll be able to see your time and stroke rate, and while it does show you your calorie count, there’s no way to calibrate the machine to your own measurements, which makes it somewhat inaccurate. 

It’s as quiet as any other magnetic rower so you can use it even in a house full of light sleepers. The seat rail folds up so it’s easy to stand out of the way. The Sunny Health and Fitness machine is also one of the easiest rowers to assemble. 

Pros

  • Ideal for beginner rowers
  • Budget-friendly
  • Folds smaller for easy storage
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Fewer resistance levels than most
  • Won’t suit rowers over 6’ tall
  • Warranty is less than most
  • Very basic display data

Key Specs 

Resistance Levels 8 adjustable levels 
Noise Quiet 
Durability Average, plastic components 
Rowing Machine Dimensions82″ x 19″ x 23″ 
Weight Capacity 285 lbs 

Newbies Should Consider the Sunny 

This is a great first rowing machine. It isn’t too heavy on the resistance levels, so it’s not intimidating, but it offers just enough progression to motivate you to improve.

ECHANFIT Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine – Best Weight Capacity

For a “cheap” indoor rower, this one can handle a lot, with a weight capacity of 350 lbs. Excellent choice for those wanting to lose weight rowing. 

Why We Like It 

The ECHANFIT Magnetic Rower is surprisingly robust for its price point, able to handle even heavier people with ease. A max weight capacity of 350 lbs is excellent for this price point. 

One of the handy features that you don’t often see on a budget rower is adjustable stability levelers, which will keep your rower stable, making this an extremely secure machine. 

A top-quality weighted flywheel, belt drive, smooth magnetic system, and excellent roller/ball-bearing set contribute to the quality of this rower.  

As well as being able to handle heavier rowers, it can also handle the taller rowers, allowing people of up to 6’6” to row comfortably on the rail. Don’t think this adds to its footprint, though—simply fold it up and roll it out of the way when you’re done. 

It’s got 16 magnetic resistance levels, which is an excellent range for consistent progression. Although the display shows very basic data, it does have a goal-setting feature, allowing you to set distance, time, or stroke goals to work towards within a workout. 

Although there’s no Bluetooth, the rower has a phone holder so you can watch YouTube videos or use a fitness app if you’d like.

Pros Cons 
✅  Can handle up to 350 lbs ❌ Seat may feel too small for some 
✅  Also great for taller rowers (up to 6’6”) ❌ Doesn’t show a lot of data 
✅  Built-in phone holder ❌ 
✅  Built-in goal setting feature ❌ 

Pros

  • Can handle up to 350 lbs
  • Also great for taller rowers (up to 6’6”)
  • Built-in phone holder
  • Built-in goal setting feature

Cons

  • Seat may feel too small for some
  • Doesn’t show a lot of data

Key Specs 

Resistance Levels 16 resistance levels 
Noise Quiet 
Durability Good for its price 
Rowing Machine Dimensions 19.29″ x 74.8″ x 34.06” 
Weight Capacity 350 lbs 

Great for Weight Loss 

It’s dangerous to attempt to exercise on a rower that has a lower weight limit than you need, which means most people would have no problem with the ECHANFIT rower. Highly recommended for those who want to lose weight rowing. 

As a bonus, it’s incredibly affordable. It’s rare but welcomed to see this kind of build quality on budget models!

Schwinn Crewmaster Rower – Best Warranty

If you’re looking for a rowing machine that’s guaranteed to last, the Schwinn Crewmaster rower is a good option. An excellent warranty is just one of the great features this machine has. 

Why We Like It 

Quiet, reliable, and suitable for beginner to intermediate rowers, the Schwinn Crewmaster is an excellent choice if warranty is a big deal to you. Despite its robust build, this machine comes with an impressive 10-year frame warranty, 3-year warranty for replacement parts, and 1-year labor warranty. 

It has a maximum user weight capacity of 300 lbs and can handle rowers of up to 6’6” in height. You can remove the protective rubber piece on the far end of the rail if you want an inch or two more space for your leg extension. 

There’s a simple but adjustable LCD screen that shows you your stats, like time, distance, strokes, and calories. One thing we really like is the ability to do wireless heart rate monitoring if you have a heart rate monitor chest strap. 

Like others, its quietness and foldability make it a great option for anyone with limited space or who shares an apartment with others. You can row at all hours without disturbing anyone, and simply fold it up and move it out of sight when necessary. 

Pros

  • 10-year frame, 3-year parts and 1-year labor warranty
  • High weight and height capacities
  • Easy-to-read, adjustable LCD monitor
  • Option for wireless heart rate monitoring

Cons

  • No preset programs
  • Fewer resistance levels than most

Key Specs 

Resistance Levels 10 resistance levels 
Noise Quiet, belt-drive 
Durability Robust, durable 
Rowing Machine Dimensions 89.1” x 21.1” x 31.7” 
Weight Capacity 300 lbs 

Warranty King 

If you want a rower that’s covered by warranty long after you purchase it, this is the one. No other rower on the market offers close to what the Schwinn does, so you can rest assured your rower will be safe for a decade.

YOSUDA Rowing Machine 100 – Best for Tall Rowers

Taller users will appreciate the Yosuda. The rail can comfortably accommodate rowers of up to 6’6”, and the wide, adjustable stabilizers make it a very sturdy option for people on the taller side. 

Why We Like It 

Between the 350 lbs weight capacity and the ability to fit rowers of most heights quite comfortably, this rower is suitable for most people, regardless of weight or height. 

It’s quite sturdy, thanks to a good build quality and the stabilizers, which make it easy to get a secure balance on any surface. The 10 lb flywheel also weights the machine really nicely, and also contributes to a beautifully smooth stroke. 

In terms of comfort, this rowing machine is surprisingly comfortable. A contoured, ergonomic seat keeps you stable and assists with keeping your form, while being well padded at the same time for maximum comfort. 

It also features an angled rail, which isn’t often seen on budget rowers. This allows you to get more leg activation on the push and also promotes good form. 

It’s silent, foldable, features built-in transport wheels, and has a device holder in case you want to use a fitness app or watch something while you’re rowing. 

Something we appreciate is that this machine comes in both 8-resistance-level and 16-resistance-level options. You can choose between the two if you buy off their site, but you may have to go searching for the one you want if you buy from a third party. 

Easy to install, easy to use. 

Pros

  • Can accommodate rowers up to 6’6”
  • Angled rail for better leg push
  • Comes in 8 or 16 resistance levels
  • Quick and easy to fold and store

Cons

  • No built-in workout programs

Key Specs 

Resistance Levels 8 or 16 resistance levels 
Noise Quiet, belt drive 
Durability Good durability 
Rowing Machine Dimensions 48.5” x 25.5” x 9.5” 
Weight Capacity 350 lbs 

Plenty of Legroom 

Taller people will appreciate the legroom on this rowing machine! You can truly get a full stretch and take full advantage of the angled rail.

NordicTrack RW900 – Most Resistance Levels

The NordicTrack RW900 is an excellent rower for beginners, intermediate rowers, and more experienced rowers, thanks to an amazing 26 levels of resistance. 

Why We Like It 

With 26 digital resistance levels, this high-quality rower provides a great workout for rowers of every level. Plus, it includes 30 built-in workouts to keep things interesting, plus you can use the Auto-Adjust feature to change the resistance on the go to make it challenging. 

It comes with a month’s iFit membership free, which will give you access to live classes and scenic rows guided by pros on your smart device. You can extend it from month two, but it costs a bit. If you’re happy with the built-in workouts, you can let the membership lapse and carry on without it.

A 22-inch HD screen beats many of the rowers on this list, providing you with easy-to-see data and adjusting to your liking. You can change the resistance on the monitor, which is a unique trait that not many magnetic rowers offer.

Another nice feature is the two 30-watt speakers to play music or follow along with a workout. Alternatively, you can connect Bluetooth headphones. 

The steel frame is extremely sturdy, featuring stabilizers to keep you on an even keel at all times. Oversized pedals and a spacious, contoured seat makes it suitable for almost anyone. It should be noted that this rower doesn’t fold, although you can tilt it upright and store it like that. 

Last but not least, this rowing machine offers a superb 10-year frame warranty, 2-year parts warranty, and a one-year warranty on labor, plus the option for an extended warranty. 

Pros

  • 26 resistance levels
  • 30 built-in workouts
  • iFit-enabled for extra workouts
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • Heavy and cumbersome to move
  • Not foldable

Key Specs 

Resistance Levels 26 resistance levels 
Noise Quiet, belt drive 
Durability Excellent 
Rowing Machine Dimensions 82” x 54” x 22” 
Weight Capacity 250 lbs 

Beginner to Advanced 

The qualities of this rower make it suitable for all rowers, from beginner to advanced. 26 digital resistance levels, 30 built-in programs, the option for instructor-led classes… No matter your level, we can almost guarantee this rower will work for you.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Magnetic Rowing Machine 

Looking to add one of the best magnetic rowing machines to your home gym? Here’s what you should be looking at in order to choose the right one. 

Resistance Levels 

Magnetic rowing machines offer different levels of resistance. You can get anything from 12 to 26 levels of resistance. For many people, 12 levels is going to be quite enough. Advanced rowers or those who plan to take rowing seriously may prefer more options. 

Noise Level 

Thankfully, most magnetic rowers are exceptionally quiet. It’s still a good idea to read up on some reviews before you buy, though, or better still, try it yourself. It’s worth noting, though, that hybrid rowers—magnetic and air resistance—may be somewhat noisier. 

They’re still good choices, but if you want a true magnetic rower, double-check before you buy!

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Weight & Height Capacity 

Most well-made magnetic rowers can handle between 200 and 300 pounds of weight. Make sure the one you choose can handle your weight and the weight of anyone else who may be using it. 

It may be tempting to choose one with a lower weight capacity than you truly need, but take caution—this could be voiding the warranty and may put you at risk of getting injured if the machine buckles. 

Size & Storage 

You’ll want to make sure the rowing machine you choose fits into your space. It’s a good idea to figure out your space first, and then make sure the machine you want to buy is going to fit into that space. 

The good news is that most magnetic rowing machines can fold so you can store them in a corner or a cupboard. As long as you have the space to place it when you’re actually using it, you don’t need to leave it out permanently. 

Warranty 

A good warranty is a sign of a good product. Not only does it show that the manufacturer is confident in their own product, but it also means that they’re likely to provide good customer service. 

A 10-year frame on the warranty, 3 to 5-year warranty on parts, and a 1-year labor warranty is the standard. Anything less than that should be avoided, or very carefully considered!

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Are Magnetic Rowers Any Good?

Magnetic rowers are the most common type of indoor rowing machines, so you can be pretty sure they’re a pretty good option! As well as providing a great workout with a natural rowing feeling, they’re super quiet and smooth.

If you’re in the market for a rower, a magnetic rowing machine is a good choice, especially if you live in an apartment with other people. They’re great for all fitness levels too and most can fold, making them pretty compact rowers.

What Are the Benefits of a Magnetic Rowing Machine?

The biggest benefit of a magnetic resistance rowing machine is how quiet they are in comparison to air rowing machines and water rowers. They use powerful magnets to create what’s known as “frictionless resistance”, which means nothing touches anything else so there’s nothing to create noise.

Other benefits of magnetic rowers include the ability to fold so you can store it away when not in use, a natural smooth rowing strokes feeling, and being suitable for rowers of all levels.

Do Magnetic Rowers Need Electricity?

Most magnetic rowing machines do require electricity to use. You may be able to find some battery-powered ones, but they’re less common. It’s likely you won’t be able to use your magnetic rower if the power’s out! If you live somewhere with frequent electricity issues, you may be better off with a water rowing machine, air rowers, or hydraulic rowers.

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About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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