Rowing machines aren’t just for cardio anymore. Not when you can choose rowers that let you do a full-body workout.
If your primary goal is cardio, don’t worry, there has never been a better selection of rowers.
Let’s dive in and check out the best magnetic rowing machines for home use!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Quick answer – The Best Magnetic Rowing Machines
- NordicTrack RW 900 Rower – Best Overall
- Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rowing Machine – Best Versatility
- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5624 Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best For Seniors
- Marcy NS-6002RE Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine – Best Compact Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best Budget Magnetic Rowing Machine
- MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best For Tall Users
- Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower – Best Programmable Magnetic Rower
- Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best Folding Magnetic Rower
- Velocity CHR-2001 Exercise Magnetic Rower – Best Low Noise Magnetic Rower
- Teeter Power10 Rower – Best Unique Magnetic Rowing Machine
Reviews – The Best Magnetic Rowing Machines
1. NordicTrack RW 900 Rower – Best Overall Magnetic Rowing Machine
The NordicTrack RW 900 features iFIT interactive personal training, a free 1-year iFit membership, and access to interactive trainer-led studio workout programs.
There’s also a 22-inch HD smart touchscreen display with an adjustable console angle.
Plus, the RW 900 has 26 coach-controlled levels of resistance that imitate real water and match the recommendations of trainers.
The seat is ergonomically molded for comfort, and there’s SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance with an inertia enhanced flywheel. This design provides a quiet, energy-efficient workout.
Finally, the special SpaceSaver design lets you fold the rower in half, and the front transport wheels allow easy moving and storage. All of these features make the NordicTrack RW 900 Rower our best overall magnetic rowing machine. 5 Stars.
- Accommodates Users 6’6” Tall
- 26 Levels Of Resistance
- Free 1 Year iFit Membership
- After The First Year, Users Must Pay For iFit Membership
2. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rowing Machine – Best Versatility
The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rowing Machine is the only Bluetooth rower on the market that includes a free My Cloud Fitness app.
The app is available on iOS and Android so you can monitor your workout progress.
There are workout goal settings that include: time, distance, and the number of calories burned. There’s also an LCD monitor that displays your exercise stats.
It’s also the only rower on the market that lets users do additional exercises. Users can do a full body low impact workout with this machine. You can target arms, shoulders, legs, and more. There’s a no-slip grip short handle that is used for these exercises.
The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus features 14 levels of magnetic resistance with a user weight capacity of 250lbs. There’s a padded seat, no-slip footplates with adjustable straps, and it folds for easy storage.
The exclusive features of this rower make it the best versatile rower. 5 Stars
- Users Can Do Additional Exercises For A Full Body Workout
- Includes A Bluetooth Connectivity & Free Fitness App
- Folds Up For Easy Storage
- Some Users Feel The Exercise Stats May Not Be Correct
3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5624 Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best For Seniors
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5624 Magnetic Rowing Machine features 8 levels of resistance and has a user weight capacity of 300 lbs.
There are full-motion oar-style long arms that can be used together or one arm at a time to create a more challenging workout experience.
There’s a fully padded, easy on, easy off seat set 22” high. This makes the SF-RW5624 the best magnetic rower for seniors.
Also, there’s a display that tracks stroke count, calories, total stroke count, time, and scan.
Additionally, the SF-RW5624 has large no-slip foot pads with adjustable straps. This Rower is foldable and includes transportation wheels for easy storage. 4.5 Stars.
- 8 Levels Of Magnetic Resistance
- Oar-Style Arms – Use Together Or Separately
- User Weight Capacity Of 300 Lbs.
- The Magnetic Resistance Is Too Noisy For Some Users
4. Marcy NS-6002RE Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine – Best Compact Magnetic Rowing Machine
The Marcy NS-6002RE Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine features heavy-duty steel construction and has a user weight capacity of 300 lbs. It is designed to mimic the feel of being in the water in a real boat.
There’s a computer display that tracks time, stroke count, total stroke count, and calories.
This rower has oversized foot pedals with straps and a foam covered handle. There’s also a water bottle holder and a media rack.
The Marcy NS-6002RE folds for storage and includes transportation wheels for easy transport. Once it’s folded up, it’s the best space saving magnetic rowing machine. 4 Stars.
- Imitates Rowing Feel Of a Real Boat
- Folds For Easy Storage
- Water Bottle Holder & Media Rack
- Some Users Have Complained About Manufacturer Quality
5. Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best Budget Magnetic Rowing Machine
The Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine features 10 resistance levels and has a user weight capacity of 265lbs. It’s constructed using strong iron tubing for the slide rails.
The Goplus operates quietly and has a 15-degree angle for a more intense workout.
The seat is padded for comfort and there are large pivoting footplates with adjustable straps. Additionally, the LCD monitor tracks stroke count, total stroke count, time, calories, and distance.
There’s also a scan mode that displays your progress.
The Goplus is easy to use and features a simple single pull handle. It also folds for storage and moves easily.
Finally, the Goplus Magnetic Rowing Machine. 5 Stars.
- Made Using Iron Tubing
- Easy To Fold And Store
- 10 Levels Of Resistance
- The Goplus Does Not Monitor Heart Rate
6. MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best For Tall Users
The MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine offers 16 levels of magnetic resistance and has a user weight capacity of 243 lbs. The MaxKare is made using a steel slide rail and is designed to accommodate users as tall as 6’5”.
There’s a large LCD console that tracks time, calories burned, reps per minute, stroke count, and total stroke count.
The MaxKare has a large, comfortable seat and a no-slip handlebar. There are large, non-slip footplates with high-quality safety straps.
The MaxKare rower folds for storage and has wheels for easy transport. 4 Stars.
- Features 16 Resistance Levels
- Built For Users Up To 6’5” Tall
- User Weight Capacity Of 243 Lbs.
- Some Users Do Not Like The Foot Placement
7. Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower – Best Programmable Magnetic Rower
The Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Rower features an aluminum rowing beam and steel frame.
It provides 12 workout programs with 6 cardio profiles that include 1 heart rate program, 4 custom user programs, and 1 manual program.
The monitor displays time, total stroke count, stroke count per minute, calories burned, and distance. There’s also a chest strap that tracks heart rate.
This rower uses electromagnetic resistance, so users can adjust resistance while they are training with the up/down arrows on the monitor.
There is a molded ergonomic seat and oversize footplates with straps.
Finally, this machine is foldable for storage.
The downside to this rower is that it doesn’t list how many resistance levels there are, and it took searching online to reveal a weight capacity of 275 lbs. 4.5 Stars.
- 12 Workout Programs With 6 Cardio Profiles
- Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor
- Folds For Storage
- The Seat Is Not Padded And May Not Be Comfortable To Some Users
8. Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine – Best Folding Magnetic Rower
The Circuit Fitness AMZ-986RW Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine is manufactured using heavy-duty steel and aluminum. It has a user weight capacity of 300lbs and utilizes an 11lb flywheel.
The LCD monitor keeps track of time, speed, strokes per minute, distance, calories burned, ambient temperature, and date.
There’s also a molded seat for support and comfort. The Circuit Fitness Rower features foam-covered handlebars and adjustable foot straps for stability.
This machine is easy to fold up for storage and has wheels for easy transport. 4 Stars.
- 11lb Flywheel & Magnetic Resistance
- User Weight Capacity of 300 lbs.
- Wheels For Transport
- Some Users Feel The Tracking Information Is Not Accurate
9. Velocity CHR-2001 Exercise Magnetic Rower – Best Low Noise Magnetic Rower
The Velocity CHR-2001 Exercise Magnetic Rower has an aluminum frame with a user weight capacity of 275 lbs.
The magnetic resistance is a drum magnetic control (DRM) system that lets you electronically control the amount of tension. This means you can adjust the resistance in the middle of an exercise. It also provides the quietest, smoothest operation of any magnetic rower.
The LCD monitors time, stroke count, and calories burned, plus there’s a chest strap monitor to track your heart rate.
There’s also a padded seat for comfort and large footplates with straps to help you keep your exercise form.
The CHR-2001 folds for easy transport and storage. 3.5 Stars.
- Features A Drum Magnetic Control System
- Folds For Storage
- Includes Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor
- Some Users May Feel The Rowing Handle Is Too High
10. Teeter Power10 Rower – Best Unique Magnetic Rowing Machine
The Teeter Power10 Magnetic Rowing Machine is unique in that it features 2-way resistance. Users not only pull like traditional rowers, they also push.
There are 7 resistance levels, and there’s also multi-grip handles so users can target specific muscle groups. This approach allows a more complete full-body workout.
The magnetic resistance can be adjusted during the workout, users do not have to stop an exercise to increase/decrease resistance.
There’s also a free training app that’s instructed by personal trainers.
The digital monitor displays calories, strokes per minute, total strokes, time, and distance. Plus, there’s a Coded Polar Telemetric Heart Rate transmitter and T34 Polar Chest Strap that connects to the monitor so your heart rate is displayed.
The handles, seat, and footplates are adjustable, it folds and has wheels for easy transport. 5 Stars.
- Features Exclusive Push/Pull Movement Path
- 7 Levels Of Magnetic Resistance
- Allows A Complete Full Body Workout
- Requires Two People To Put Together
Buying Guide – How to choose the best Magnetic Rowing Machine?
How To Choose A Magnetic Rowing Machine
Most users buy a rower for fat loss, that makes sense because you can burn between 600-800 calories per hour using a rowing machine.
Even at its most basic, a rower is an effective piece of exercise equipment that can involve the entire body. At its most advanced, you can perform a more complete full-body routine, depending on the rower.
This means you can burn fat and build a little muscle. While it’s true a rowing machine directly targets the back, it also activates the legs and the core.
Benefits Of Magnetic Rowing Machine
Some of the benefits of a magnetic rowing machine include:
- Quiet Operation
- Minimal Maintenance
- Magnetic Rowers Can Be More Compact Than Rowers That Use Other Types Of Resistance
- Many Have Trainer Programs Included
- Low Impact
- Easy To Use
- Good For Fat Loss & Strength
How Many Types Of Rowing Machines Are There?
There are two fundamental types of rowing machines:
Oar – This version uses two long handles that imitate the feel and motion of rowing on the water in a boat. The motion is more of an arc which makes it a longer range of movement. This type may take a little more getting used to for maximum benefit.
Types Of Magnetic Resistance
This is a form of resistance that uses magnetic brakes to maintain an even motion as you pull the handle or long arms. There are two types of magnetic braking systems: manual, and electromagnetic.
Manual Magnetic Rowers
A rower that has an adjustable knob or dial uses manual magnetic resistance.
One of the primary differences is that an electromagnetic system has to be plugged in, and a manual system does not.
With a manual magnetic resistance rower, you can train anywhere, you don’t have to be near a plug.
The downside of this system is that you can’t automatically change the resistance. In other words, the resistance you chose pre-workout is the resistance you’ll have to use during your workout unless you stop the exercise and adjust it.
With this system, you can be mid-exercise and change the resistance with the push of a button.
Additionally, they are more accurate. They can also be set to automatically change resistance. This feature usually applies to the trainer programs that some machines include.
Another nice feature is that you can choose to work out in a predetermined heart rate range. So, you can set a minimum and maximum heart rate, and the rower will control the resistance to keep you in that range.
Besides magnetic, there are 3 other forms of resistance used on rowing machines. Briefly, they are:
Water – This version uses a water-filled flywheel as resistance.
Hydraulic – This type uses hydraulic pistons as resistance.
Air Flywheel – This type uses a flywheel with fan blades as resistance.
The best magnetic rowing machine for you is always based on your budget. However, if you can afford it, the more expensive rowers offer several advanced features. Still, even the budget models bring a lot to your workout experience.
The rowing machine you’re interested in should be well-built with a slide rail that’s durable and strong. Always check the user weight capacity before buying. Also, it should be designed to accommodate users of all heights.
Most magnetic rowing machines offer quiet operation. If noise is an issue in your house, you’ll want to check the reviews and see what others have to say before buying.
Handle And Seat
The seat and handle should be padded, and the seat should be ergonomically designed.
As noted above, the handle will either be a single straight bar or two separate handles. In either case, it will attach to a single band or cable that attaches to the resistance mechanism.
As a point of reference, there are a couple of rowers in this guide that use something different. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5624 has long arms that imitate the use of oars, and the Teeter Power10 has multi-grip arms that are similar to what you’d see on a single stack home gym.
The displays on the rowing machines in this guide range from simple to hi-tech.
The bottom line is that you should choose a display that gives you the data you want in an exercise machine.
Most rowers track the same data, but some provide fewer data.Be sure the one you want tracks the info you want.
Also, make sure the display is large and easy to read, and that there’s extra storage for your phone or water bottle.
The footplates should be no-slip and should have adjustable straps.
Be mindful of the fact that many rowers have footplates that pivot. Not all users want pivoting footplates, many want their feet secure and unmovable. This “locks” you into the proper exercise form.
Size & Portability
Ultimately, the size of your exercise area dictates the machine you can buy. While you should buy the best rower for your goals, make sure you have the available space. This means measuring your exercise area and having a place to store your rower if needed.
Two examples of a machine that takes the basics of rowing farther are our best overall magnetic rowing machine, the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth, and the unique Teeter Power10.
Both of these machines allow users to do a complete full-body workout.
With the Fitness Reality Plus Rower, you stand in front of the machine and use the handle to perform multiple exercises for the whole body.
The Power10 lets you do bi-directional movements, pulling and pushing against the resistance.
Levels Of Resistance
Many of the magnetic rowing machines in this guide have at least 8 levels of resistance. Do not settle for less resistance than your experience demands.
Always carefully consider the warranty offered on any rowing machine you may be interested in buying.
While a rowing machine may seem like a simple machine, there are quite a few designs to choose from.
The most unique design is the Teeter Power10 Rower , which features exclusive bi-directional resistance, you can pull and push against the weight. With the multi-grip handles, it’s similar to the handle arm on a single stack weight machine.
If you want a more traditional rower but still want the versatility to work your entire body, our best versatile magnetic rower is the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rowing Machine. There’s an app available on iOS and Android so you can easily track your stats. Also, you can set workout goals for time, distance, and calories burned. Finally, it’s the only rower that allows the use of additional exercises. Users can work out in front of the rower by standing on special footpads and using the handle to work both lower and upper body.
Finally, our best overall is the NordicTrack RW 900 Rower. While this is at the high end of the budget range, it features iFIT interactive personal training, interactive trainer-led studio workout programs, and a free 1-year iFit membership. It has a 22-inch HD smart touchscreen display and 26 coach-controlled resistance levels.
What is the best magnetic rowing machine?
The one that fits your budget and goals the most!