While ellipticals and treadmills get all the attention, rowing machines are quickly becoming a popular choice for home gyms thanks to the ability to get a full body strength workout and a cardio session at the same time. Because you're seated the entire time, rowing is a great low-impact exercise option for anyone who needs to be kinder to their joints.

Today, you can even find full immersion rowers that use high-definition displays and realistic audio to transport you to the Mediterranean or the glacier-filled waters off the coast of Alaska. Whether you want that immersive experience or just a solid low-impact workout without the frills, the best rowing machines give you a variety of resistance options, a way to track your performance and a durable frame that doesn't wobble when you're rowing at maximum intensity.

Best rowing machine overall: NordicTrack RW900


While NordicTrack is best known for its premium treadmills, the brand also boasts a growing lineup of top-of-the-line rowing machines. The RW900 smart rower is NordicTrack's leading rowing machine, featuring a large 22-inch touchscreen display, 26 digital resistance levels and a folding design.

You can get a high-intensity workout while enjoying an immersive experience thanks to the auto-adjust feature that changes resistance to simulate the conditions on the famous bodies of water you're virtually rowing through in the large display.

If you've got an iFit subscription ($180 per year for individuals; a $39 per month family plan and $396 yearly family membership are also available), you can stream on-demand workouts from that same touchscreen. Choose from the rowing workouts or twist the screen sideways to follow yoga, HIIT, strength training and countless other workouts using the same 22-inch display.

Get the NordicTrack RW900 smart rower directly from NordicTrack for $1,799 (reduced from $1,999).

Why we like the NordicTrack RW900:

  • A total of 26 digital resistance levels give you a wide range of workout intensities.
  • The large 22-inch display and auto-adjust features make this one of the most immersive rowers on the market.
  • When you're done working up a sweat, fold the rower in half to free up space in your home gym.
  • Get a 30-day free trial of the iFit app for up to five users when you buy this rower.
$1,700 at NordicTrack

Most immersive rowing machine: Hydrow Wave rower


The Hydrow Wave is a compact, foldable machine with a smooth, quiet electromagnetic drag mechanism that delivers a powerful workout without the noisiness of the fan or water tank found on other rowing machines.

The patented drag mechanism also comes with a range of resistance levels (from 50 to 300). Hydrow recommends keeping the rower at the default setting of 104, which most closely replicates the feel of rowing on water.

The Hydrow Wave is a well-designed, ergonomic rower that's built for full immersion. When you sign up for the membership, every member of your household gets full access to over 4,000 on-demand workouts and over 100 immersive experience films to transport you to iconic rivers and lakes around the globe as you row.

Get the premium rower directly from Hydrow or on Amazon for $1,695.

Why we like the Hydrow Wave:

  • The large 16" display comes with built-in speakers, but you can also pair your Bluetooth headphones to it.
  • You can see key stats like time, distance, watts and more right on the display.
  • With the membership, you can access hundreds of immersive rowing videos and thousands of workouts.
  • The durable rower supports up to 375 pounds.
$1,695 at Hydrow $1,695 at Amazon

Best foldable rowing machine: Echelon Row S

Echelon Fit

If space is limited, a foldable rowing machine like the Echelon Row S is a must. When you're done working out, it folds in half for easy storage. Stash it in a corner and simply unfold it to start working out.

The powerful rowing machine offers 32 silent resistance levels with the resistance controller conveniently built right into the handle. That way, you can seamlessly transition from higher to lower intensity exercise without breaking your flow.

A 22-inch HD touchscreen display makes it easy to follow along with workout videos, watch your favorite shows or keep track of key workout metrics. It also rotates so you can use it for strength training, yoga and other workouts you do in between rowing sessions.

Get the compact and immersive Echelon Row S directly from Echelon while it's on sale for $1,170 (reduced from $1,900). You can also get it at Amazon for $1,215.

Why we like the Echelon Row S:

  • The rower folds in half for easy storage in small spaces.
  • Adjust between 32 resistance levels using a control built right into the handle.
  • The 22-inch HD touchscreen rotates so you can use it for more than just rowing workouts.
  • This rowing machine has a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
$1,170 at Echelon Fit $1,215 at Amazon

Best rower on a budget: Sunny Health magnetic rowing machine


This popular Sunny Health rowing machine has earned more than 11,800 5-star ratings on Amazon. Reviewers love that it's sturdy and quiet, and that both the seat and the rowing handle move smoothly with each repetition.

"My only regret was not buying this sooner," said one reviewer. The adjustable resistance levels make it easy to alternate between high-intensity sessions and easier recovery workouts.

Plus, when you're done for the day, you can fold it up and stash it in a corner or a closet.

Amazon dropped the price on this 4.4-star rated rower to $234 (reduced from $399). 

Why we like the Sunny Health magnetic rower:

  • This budget rower features eight levels of magnetic resistance.
  • Assembly is easy.
  • The digital monitor tracks workout time, reps and calories burned.
  • Amazon reviewers say it's quieter than non-magnetic machines.
  • The machine can support up to 250 pounds.
  • Sunny is fast becoming a trusted brand of low-cost exercise equipment -- the company also makes one of the best budget ellipticals of 2023.
$234 at Amazon

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