6 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines of 2024, For Every Budget and Expertise

Ready to take your home gym and fitness equipment to the next level with the best magnetic rowing machine? Magnetic rowers bring you smooth resistance, whisper-quiet operation, and unbeatable versatility, delivering full-body workouts that treat your joints with care. It’s the perfect alternative to bulky, water-filled flywheel rowers. Instead, magnetic rowers harness the power of magnets for a seamless, controlled stroke every time you pull. Whether you’re nursing those post-workout aches, looking for a low-impact workout, or want to maximize a HIIT class, magnetic rowing machines offer a hassle-free indoor rowing machine at home that removes the need for bulky exercise bikes, treadmills (or even dumbbells!). 

When selecting the best magnetic rowing machine, considerations such as magnetic resistance, padded seats, and device holders, make a difference. The cream of the crop in magnetic rowers provides immersive experiences and space-saving solutions. This way, you can smash your cardiovascular goals by activating your glutes and lower body, expanding your fitness levels, and without sacrificing space or wasting money. To ensure that happens, BarBend consulted with in-house experts to create a list of the six best magnetic rowing machines for an unmatched rowing workout. 

6 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines of 2024 

Best Magnetic Rowing Machine Overall: NordicTrack RW900 

Best Magnetic Rowing Machine for Athletes: Hydrow Rower

Best Under $1,000 Magnetic Rowing Machine: ProForm 750R Rower 

Best Interactive Magnetic Rowing Machine: Aviron Strong Rower 

Best Magnetic Rowing Machine for Low-Impact Workouts: Echelon Row-S

Best Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 

About Our Expert 

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite and the magnetic rowing machines we listed to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations. 

How We Tested and Chose the Best Magnetic Rowing Machines

To curate our list of the best magnetic rowing machines, we considered a range of needs, including each user’s specific body type, budget constrictions, skill level, and space. We then factored in other things such as prices, size, foldability, programming offerings, technology (latest or outdated), and in-house testing reviews. 

[Related: 8 Best Rowing Machines Workouts]


We scrutinized the comfort and functionality of magnetic rowing machines, paying close attention to features like plush padded seats, versatile adjustable foot pedals, and ergonomically designed handlebars. We also examined the clarity and ease of digital screens, displaying vital workout metrics such as distance, time, and calories burned. Furthermore, we rigorously tested the durability of the frames across a spectrum of weight capacities, confirming stability and safety for users weighing between 250 and 400 pounds.

Resistance Level

We thoroughly examined the range of resistance levels offered by magnetic rowing machines, spanning from roughly 8 to 16. We assessed the ease of adjusting resistance, through a dial or digital control panel, noting how higher levels provided greater intensity for users seeking a challenging workout. This versatility confirms that individuals of varying fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes, can find the optimal resistance level to align with their strength and training objectives.

Tech Compatibility 

As we tested magnetic rowing machines, we prioritized assessing their compatibility with various technological features. We examined Bluetooth connectivity and wireless capabilities, ensuring seamless integration with fitness apps and devices for comprehensive data tracking. Our evaluation also emphasized the ease of syncing with popular fitness platforms and the effectiveness of integrating smart devices and wearables.

Best Magnetic Rowing Machine Overall: NordicTrack RW900

NordicTrack RW900 Rower

NordicTrack RW900 Rower

The NordicTrack RW900 is a durable  machine that features a 22” touchscreen display, a quiet belt drive and large pivoting pedals to fit pretty much any shoe size. You’ll also get a free month of iFit classes with your purchase, which you can view on your tilting display as you row virtually across the globe. 

Shop NordicTrack


Price: $1,799

Product Weight: 163lbs

Dimensions: 82” x 22” x 54”

Weight Capacity: 250lbs

Programming: iFIT programming compatible

Monitor: 22” HD touchscreen display


It offers 26 levels of magnetic resistance, exceeding many other machines that typically have only 20 levels.

It features a large HD touchscreen model, providing a bigger console than most other models.

It provides exceptional stability and a comfortable seat for supreme comfort during workouts.


Weighing in at 163 lbs, the machine is relatively heavy, which could pose difficulties when moving.

The weight capacity is 250 lbs, slightly lower than the standard 300 lbs capacity in many other models.

Our tester trying out the NordicTrack RW900.

The NordicTrack RW900 isn’t just another magnetic rowing machine – it’s the best overall in home fitness thanks to interactive programming, a sleek design, and ergonomic features. Offering 26 levels of magnetic resistance, it provides unparalleled control over workout intensity for beginners and seasoned athletes, scoring a 4.1 out of five stars from our team of experts. 

[Related: The 12 Best Rowing Machine Workouts for Every Experience Level]

Certified personal trainer Amanda Capritto praises the RW900’s iFIT programming, highlighting its wide range of workouts. “The iFIT programming is amazing… There are so many workouts to choose from and different ways to find what you want,” Capritto says. This variety ensures users can challenge themselves and avoid fitness plateaus, with precise resistance control enabling tailored workouts.

The 22” HD touchscreen display isn’t just flashy tech – it’s designed to immerse users and enhance their experience. “It has all of the latest tech you’d expect to find on a smart rower: auto-adjust resistance, H2 touchscreen, Bluetooth, live and on-demand classes, pivoting screen, pivoting pedals,” our tester says. These features elevate workouts by constantly challenging users, integrating seamlessly with other devices, and providing motivation.

Comfort is key, and the RW900 delivers with its padded, contoured seat, allowing users to row for extended periods without discomfort. However, our tester notes issues with the oversized foot cradles, which can detract from the overall experience. Despite this, the RW900’s focus on comfort ensures users can push themselves without distractions.

Read our full NordicTrack RW900 review.

Best Magnetic Rowing Machine for Athletes: Hydrow Rower

Hydrow Rower

Hydrow Rower

The Hydrow is a high-tech rower with a library full of live and on-demand workouts, a smooth drive and electromagnetic resistance. It’s a quiet machine and provides a great full-body workout for both beginning and advanced rowers.

Shop Hydrow



Product Weight: 145lbs

Dimensions: 86” L x 25”W x47” H

Weight Capacity: 375lbs

Programming: Hydrow Interactive Programming, $38 per month

Monitor: 22” HD touchscreen


Athletes will appreciate the Hydrow’s stellar interactive programming interface, offering a diverse range of challenging workouts tailored to enhance performance. 

With the in-app subscription available for a monthly price, athletes can access continuous new content and challenges to push their limits and achieve their fitness goals.

The machine stands out for its ease of assembly, which is a significant advantage compared to other models that can be more difficult to assemble.


The price point of roughly $2,500 may be considered high compared to other models on the market.

An additional downside is that the app, which enhances workouts, comes with an extra cost of $38 per month and is not included in the flat price of the machine.

Looking to take your fitness game to the next level? Enter the Hydrow Rower – it’s not your run-of-the-mill rowing machine; it’s a powerhouse that our in-house tester (an avid workout fanatic) couldn’t get enough of, labeling it as “a piece of modern art that adds a touch of sophistication to any home gym.” With a stellar overall rating of 4.25 out of five stars, this machine is exceptional for those who want to challenge themselves with interactive workouts. 

At $2,500, the Hydrow is an investment, especially with the added $38 monthly subscription fee, but you’ll have access to professionals, which is why our team gave it a five out of five stars for tech capabilities. Our tester compared it to the Peloton, highlighting its potential for that extra motivation boost. And with Klarna’s financing options, investing in your fitness journey becomes much more feasible. (If you still can’t get past the price tag, check out the Hydrow Wave, which the brand launched in 2022 as a smaller, more affordable option to its big sister.)

Our tester reviewing the Hydrow Rower.

[Related: The 6 Best Water Rowing Machines]

More excitingly, our tester couldn’t stop raving about the Hydrow’s performance. “The software is top-notch, and I love the on-water rowing aspect,” they gushed. Its seamless, noise-free operation makes each stroke feel like gliding through water effortlessly. 

Its immersive programming and customizable workouts draw eyes to this magnetic rowing machine. Our tester emphasized the on-water rowing simulations, motivating instructors, and interactive metrics that keep athletes engaged and challenged every step of the way. It’s not just about rowing; it’s about pushing your limits and achieving your fitness goals like never before.

Sure, the Hydrow’s five-year frame warranty may fall short of industry standards, which is why we rated it a four out of five stars. That said, its overall performance and user experience it delivers is a minor bump in an otherwise stellar package. 

Read more about this machine in our Hydrow Rower review.

Best Under $1,000 Magnetic Rowing Machine: ProForm 750 

ProForm 750R Rowing Machine

ProForm 750R Rowing Machine

The ProForm 750R is a sturdy 116-pound magnetic resistance rower. It’s practically silent and offers 24 levels of resistance to challenge your strength and endurance throughout your workout. Plus, you’ll get three free years of iFit with it, so you can stream virtual rowing classes across the globe.

Shop ProForm


Price: $799

Product Weight: 116.6lbs

Dimensions: 86.5” x 22” x 45.5” 

Weight Capacity: 250lbs

Programming: iFIT membership compatible 

Monitor: 5-inch backlit multi-colored display


Priced at under $800, this rowing machine stands out as one of the most well-made models available, offering quality construction at an affordable price point.

With 24 levels of magnetic resistance, users can seamlessly transition from low-impact to high-intensity workouts, providing versatility to accommodate various fitness levels and goals.

The machine comes equipped with 20 built-in workouts, offering a range of diverse options to help users meet and even exceed their fitness objectives.


One drawback is the relatively small size of the LCD monitor compared to other models in this price range, potentially limiting visibility and usability during workouts.

Utilizing the iFIT program requires a personal smart device, which may entail additional out-of-pocket expenses for users who don’t already own compatible devices.

Meet the ProForm 750R rower – it scores a 4.03 out of five stars from our team and is our ultimate pick for the best magnetic rowing machine under $1,000. When certified personal trainer Amanda Capritto put it to the test, she was blown away by how comfy and rock-solid it felt. “The affordability of this rowing machine combined with its solid construction makes it a great choice for budget-conscious fitness enthusiasts,” Capritto says.

But what steals the show? It’s all about the flywheel and magnetic resistance system. It scores a 4.25 out of five stars for customizations, and our tester couldn’t stop gushing about how smoothly it glided, leaving those clunky air rowers in the dust. And the best part? With 24 levels of magnetic resistance, you can seamlessly shift gears from a leisurely row to a hardcore sweat session without skipping a beat.

Our expert testing the ProForm 750r Rower.

Sure, it may not have all the fancy add-ons like water bottle holders or built-in fans, but it’s got something even better – compatibility with iFIT. The 30-day free trial membership unlocks a treasure trove of killer workouts led by top-notch personal trainers. 

And here’s the kicker: the resistance levels automatically adjust as you row, taking the guesswork out of your sweat session. “Having a variety of built-in workouts ensures that users can tailor their workouts to their specific fitness needs, whether they’re beginners or seasoned athletes,” Capritto says. This is why it should come as no surprise that our team rated it four out of five stars for its programming capabilities. 

Comfort is king, and the 750R delivers in spades with its ergonomic seat, adjustable handlebars, and customizable five-inch display. The pivoting foot pedals ensure a silky-smooth ride, especially if you’re nursing a temperamental ankle. Granted the ProForm 750R rower is the ultimate trifecta of comfort, performance, and tech features – all without blowing your budget.

To dive into more details, read our in-depth ProForm 750R Rower review.

Best Interactive Magnetic Rowing Machine: Aviron Strong Series

Aviron Strong Go Rower

Aviron Strong Go Rower

Sleek, modern and compact design coupled with a diverse workout content library and frequent new releases to get you motivated and keep you consistent for the long term. The Aviron Go Rower is the perfect at-home magnetic rower to invest in. 

Shop Aviron Strong Go Rower



Price: $2,199

Product Weight: 114lbs 

Dimensions: 84” L x 27” W x 48” H

Weight Capacity: 507lbs 

Programming: If you choose to be billed annually the membership is $24/month, while monthly billing will cost you $29/month. 

Monitor: 1080p LCD display that works without an internet connection and displays distance, time, watts, pace, calories, output, strokes, and heart rate.


The 1080p LCD offers access to over 500 workouts across eight diverse categories once connected to Wi-Fi with a membership.

Each workout is designed for efficiency, combining muscle strengthening and cardio.

The lifetime warranty and unlimited profiles provide peace of mind for all household members using the machine.


 Some reviewers have criticized the repetitive music selection in the workouts, noting it’s not as expansive as they’d hoped (given the additional membership price).

Others mentioned that the LCD was bulky and appeared too oversized for the machine itself.

Ready to inject some excitement into your workouts? The Aviron Strong Series is the pinnacle of interactive magnetic rowing machines, scoring a 4.3 out of five stars by our team of experts.  Replacing the Aviron Tough Series Rower, this upgrade brings enhanced functionality and luxury, as described by one of our expert product testers who raves, “The Strong Series feels like a significant upgrade from its predecessor, with improved ergonomics and overall performance.” 

But the real charm lies in its interactivity, says Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level 1 instructor, who has first-hand experience with this rower. “The workout variety is mind-blowing — I’m not convinced I could ever get bored on this machine,” Capritto says. With options like individual or team video games, live competitions, and virtual rowing in breathtaking locales worldwide, Aviron offers an unparalleled workout adventure. It boasts a 22-inch swiveling HD touchscreen, automatic resistance adjustment, and motivational cues based on performance. “Levels 11 through 16 were crafted for serious strength training,” says a tester. With up to 100 pounds of resistance per pull, it’s a challenge that fuels your fire.

A close-up of the Aviron Strong Series rowing machine’s interactive screen.

Beyond its interactive wizardry, the Aviron Strong Series delivers practicality and top-notch quality. Despite tipping the scales at 114 pounds, its upright storage, and front-mounted transport wheels make it a breeze to move. And with a competitive membership fee, ($24/annually or $28/monthly), it’s a savvy investment. “Aviron rowers outshine many others in this price range,” concludes one tester.

In a nutshell, the Aviron Strong Series isn’t just a rowing machine; it’s a turbo-charged workout experience like no other. 

Best Magnetic Rowing Machine for Low-Impact Workouts: Echelon Row-S


Price: $1,899

Product Weight: 123lbs

Dimensions: 49.5″ x 17″ x 25″

Weight Capacity: 350lbs

Programming: You can use the Echelon Premier membership, however, it comes at an additional cost. 

Monitor: 22” classic touchscreen


The assembly was straightforward which was well-received by our testers. 

The resistance can be changed via Bluetooth connectivity and the resistance controller is also easy to use as it’s located on the controller. 

This rowing machine folds, which is great for those living in small spaces.


There was lots of plastic around the shrouds of the material which wasn’t well-received by many. 

The warranty was one of the worst for our reviewers with only 12 months, but the upside is the financing options are great. 

Need a magnetic rowing machine that’s gentle on your joints but still packs a punch? The Echelon Row-S is your key to low-impact fitness with high-impact outcomes. With an impressive overall score of 4.15 out of 5 stars, the Echelon Row-S isn’t just a rowing machine – it’s your ticket to low-impact workouts that deliver exceptional results and change how you approach cardio sessions.

Our in-house tester had a breeze setting up the machine – it was straightforward and hassle-free, and they scored it a 4.5 out of five stars. It emphasized the importance of having a balance between weight and capacity, which, if asked by our tester, is key to making sure your workout feels stable and safe. Imagine rowing away, confident that the machine can handle your weight without issues. And the fact that it was easy to put together adds to that feeling of stability. It builds trust in the machine; so you can focus on your workout without any worries about stability.

Our tester reviewing the Echelon Row-S at our testing facility.

The Row-S puts you in the driver’s seat of your workout journey with customizable resistance levels. With Bluetooth connectivity, adjusting your workout intensity is as easy as tapping a button on the controller. This feature lets you tailor your workout to your fitness goals and preferences, ensuring a personalized and effective training experience. 

While some users noted many plastic coverings, others praised the machine’s ergonomic design. According to one user, “The seat is surprisingly comfortable […] And the adjustable foot holders ensure a snug fit, minimizing strain on the ankles,” emphasizing the focus on comfort and usability. Either way, our team gave it a 4 out of five-star rating. 

But Echelon’s membership program is what truly makes this rower special. For $29.16/month, you unlock a range of live and on-demand classes, allowing you to customize your workouts to meet your fitness goals and level. (Plus, it’s cheaper than the iFIT!) This means you have access to professional guidance and diverse training options, maximizing the effectiveness of your workouts without straining your budget. It’s the perfect solution for anyone trying to give up their gym membership but get their sweat simultaneously. 

Best Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801

Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

This compact and foldable Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machine can provide a challenge with 16 levels of magnetic resistance. A budget, bare-bones unit, this well-made rower is ideal for those tight on space but with a desire to sweat. 

Shop Sunny Health & Fitness


Price: $220

Product Weight: 49.6lbs

Dimensions: 77” x 23” x 22.5”

Weight Capacity: 285lbs

Programming: N/A

Monitor: SPM performance monitor 


Folding this rowing machine is like a breeze, making it a piece of cake to store away, especially if you’re tight on space.

It’s as light as a feather, weighing under 50 lbs, so you can easily move it around without breaking a sweat.

Despite being a budget-friendly rower, it spoils you with a comfy padded seat and 16 resistance levels. 


While it’s great for compact spaces, some might find the rail and rower smaller than normal.

Don’t expect fancy tech features here; you’ll have to row solo without any pre-set workouts or routines to guide you.

Visualize stepping into your home gym, ready to embark on your daily workout routine. In the corner stands the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 – sleek, compact, inviting you to row away. Amanda Capritto, our in-house tester, and certified personal trainer, was intrigued by the SF-RW5801 and decided to thoroughly test its capabilities, ultimately awarding it a rating of 3.45 out of five stars. 

Assembling the SF-RW5801 was a breeze and one of the most beloved aspects. With straightforward attachments and neatly packaged components, the rower was up and running quickly. What impressed Amanda even more was its portability. Weighing under 50 pounds, she could effortlessly move it from room to room, making it an ideal choice for those with limited space or mobility.

The SF-RW5801 rowing machine stands out due to its foldable design, which the reviewer describes as “effortless.” This feature is particularly advantageous for those facing space limitations. By simply folding it up, users can easily store it in a closet or under a bed, thus maximizing floor space in their home gym. Consequently, in our assessment, we rated its portability and footprint at 4.25 out of five stars.

At just $250, it’s a steal. Despite its pocket-friendly price, the SF-RW5801 doesn’t compromise comfort or functionality. With a luxuriously padded seat and 16 levels of magnetic resistance, it delivers a satisfying workout experience every time. 

While our tester noted the “rail and rower might feel slightly smaller for some users accustomed to larger equipment,” we rated its adjustability and customization at 3.5 out of five stars. If you’re searching for advanced technological features, this product doesn’t offer them—it received just one out of five stars for tech capabilities. However, if you prioritize reliability and affordability in a rowing machine, the SF-RW5801 is an ideal choice. 

The Types of Magnetic Rowing Machines

There are three types of magnetic rowing machines: air, magnetic, and water magnetic. Air rowers use air resistance for a dynamic workout, while magnetic rowers adjust resistance levels with magnets for smooth motion. Water magnetic rowers blend water resistance with magnetic control for a realistic feel and customizable intensity.


A magnetic rowing machine utilizes magnets to create resistance, providing a smooth and quiet workout experience. Users can tailor their workout intensity to match their fitness goals by modifying the resistance levels. Compared to other rowers, magnetic rowers are often praised for their low maintenance, precise resistance control, and relatively compact design.


A water magnetic rowing machine combines water resistance with magnetic technology to simulate the feel of rowing on water. Water tanks create resistance based on the user’s stroke intensity, while magnets provide additional control over the resistance level. This combination offers a dynamic and realistic rowing experience that closely mimics the sensation of rowing outdoors.

Our expert testing the Ergatta Lite Rower.


An air-magnetic rowing machine utilizes a combination of air and magnetic resistance to provide a challenging and customizable workout experience. Air resistance is generated by the user’s stroke intensity, while magnets offer precise control over the resistance level. This dual resistance system allows for smooth and dynamic rowing motions while allowing users to adjust the intensity to match their fitness goals. 

[Related: Xebex Air Rower Review]

Benefits of a Magnetic Rowing Machine

Magnetic rowing machines offer smooth and quiet operation, making them ideal for home use without disturbing others. With adjustable resistance levels, they cater to users of all fitness levels, allowing for progressive workouts and continuous challenges. Their compact design and easy storage make them convenient for smaller spaces, ensuring versatility in any home gym setup.

Our tester setting up the the Echelon Row-S.

How Much Does a Magnetic Rowing Machine Cost? 

Magnetic rowing machines vary in price depending on their features and quality. Entry-level models can cost as little as $200 to $500, offering basic functionality and resistance levels. Higher-end models with advanced features such as interactive displays, programmable workouts, and enhanced build quality can range from $600 to over $2000, catering to users seeking a more premium rowing experience.

What to Consider Before Buying a Magnetic Rowing Machine?

Like any cardio equipment purchase, investing in a magnetic rowing machine requires careful consideration. Unlike air or water rowers, magnetic rowers entail a bit more maintenance. You should also consider the machine’s size, available workout programs, maintenance needs, and overall cost.


Magnetic rowing machines typically have a longer footprint, spanning between 80 to 95 inches, which may require ample space for setup. However, some models offer a foldable design, allowing for easier storage in smaller spaces when not in use. This feature makes them ideal for individuals with limited workout space or those who prioritize compactness.

A close-up of the Echelon Row-S handlebars.


Before purchasing a magnetic rowing machine, consider the available space in your home gym or workout area to ensure the machine fits comfortably. Take note of the rower’s dimensions, particularly its length, width, and height, to ensure it accommodates your body size and height. Additionally, consider factors such as storage space when the rower is not in use to optimize your home gym setup.


When selecting a magnetic rowing machine, explore various customization options of its built-in workout programs to suit your fitness goals and preferences. Look for rowers with pre-programmed workouts designed to challenge different fitness levels and provide variety in your training routine. Additionally, consider whether the rowing machine offers features like interval training, heart rate monitoring, or compatibility with fitness apps for enhanced tracking and motivation.

Final Words 

Consider magnetic rowing machines for a versatile and effective workout experience. These machines offer adjustable resistance levels, quiet operation, and customizable features to suit individual preferences and goals. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, magnetic rowers provide a low-impact yet challenging way to stay fit and healthy.


What is the best magnetic rowing machine?

The NordicTrack RW900 stands out as the best magnetic rowing machine overall due to its exceptional blend of innovative features, unparalleled performance, and durability. Boasting a vigorous construction, it offers a smooth and quiet rowing experience, ideal for home workouts. With its immersive iFIT platform, diverse workout programs, and interactive coaching, the RW900 elevates the rowing experience.

Do magnetic rowing machines need electricity?

Some magnetic rowing machines are designed to operate without electricity, providing flexibility to use batteries as a power source. Models like the Horizon Oxford 3 Rower and Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5515 exemplify this feature, providing cordless functionality for convenient use in any space.

Are magnetic rowing machines loud?

Yes, rowing machines can vary in noise level depending on their type, with magnetic rowers generally being quieter due to their design. Unlike air rowers, which produce more sound from the fan, and water rowers, which can create sloshing noises, magnetic rowers operate smoothly and quietly. This makes them a preferred choice for users seeking a quieter workout experience, especially in shared living spaces or apartments.

The post 6 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines of 2024, For Every Budget and Expertise appeared first on BarBend.


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