5 Best Air Rowing Machines: Reviewed For Your Home Gym

Working out can be a hassle, especially if you just want to get some cardio work in. Heading out to the gym, paying membership fees, and waiting for machines to open up when you could do it all from home. 

The best air rowing machines are affordable, offer great features, and can be set up in any room of your home. In this article, we will examine the air rowers in detail and review the top brands and models for you to consider. 

Why Buy An Air Rowing Machine? (Overview + Benefits)

Air rowing is one of the more natural movement rowing options on the market. Instead of using pistons or water to cause friction, they use fins and dampers to push against the air. The fins, or blades, resemble a ceiling or oscillating fan you find in your home, but most are turned sideways. 

The dampers on the shroud also adjust to force the air around the fins, creating more friction and a harder row. Air rowers also mimic actual rowing better than any other rower type, and are used by professionals and Olympians to train for their sport. 

Because of the need for training by the professionals, air rowers are generally built more sturdy, last longer, and, of course, cost a bit more. However, compared to a magnetic, hydraulic, or water rower, you definitely get your money’s worth. 


5 Best Air Resistance Rowing Machines Reviewed 

Below you will find the best air rowing machines. Each one is reviewed, rated, and compared to show you the features and benefits of that particular model. Read through the list and find the air rower that is right for you. 

1. Stamina ATS - Best Budget Air Rowing Machine 

Features

Dimensions

(L x H)

77 x 18 x 22 inches

Weight of Machine

54 lbs

Max Inseam

38 inches

Weight Capacity

250 lbs

The Stamina ATS air rower is easily the best air rowing machine currently on the market. Combining cost-effectiveness and value with performance and durability, it is a no brainer. While there are other models with various parts that may be better, none put the entire package together so well. 

The folding design carbon steel is as attractive as it is functional, providing you with a sleek and stylish rower that looks great in any room. It also fits in any room, needing only 77 inches of floor space to workout in; you can set it up in front of your TV or in the corner of your home gym. 

If you don't like the black carbon steel, you can also opt for three other color choices, including black and chrome, crypto green, and red. It also features comfort-grip straight bar handles with a rope pull designed for heavy, daily use. 

With the wind resistance, there aren't going to be any additional settings. If you need more resistance, you simply pull faster. This is the primary design behind any air rower, and it works well. Some models add a tension knob to slow the pull string, but you won't find that here. When it comes to rowing instead of running, you'll find this machine to be just as effective.

Instead, you get a durable, strong, and dependable rower that tracks your rowing time, speed, distance, and caloric burn on a digital display. In addition, it comes with a 3-year frame and 90-day parts warranty to protect your purchase. 

Related Article - Stamina ATS Air Rower Vs Concept2 Model D

Pros

  • Simple, fast assembly 
  • Easy to read/use LCD monitor 
  • No extraneous controls or knobs 
  • Free access to muuv audio coaching app 

Cons

  • Rope pull will need to be replaced sooner than a chain pull 
  • Can vibrate, causing extra noise while in use 

2. Concept2 Model D -  Best High-End Air Rower

Features

Dimensions

(L x H)

95 x 24 x 14 inches

Weight of Machine

58 lbs

Max Inseam

38 inches

Weight Capacity

500 lbs

Concept2 is arguably the most recognized and popular name in the rowing world. The Model D from Concept2 is the best selling model with the most reviews and highest praise. It is also the most expensive rower on this list. 

Concept2 does not disappoint, and their rower is the best for a reason. However, for the cost and the value overall, it is the best air rower for home use runner up simply because it isn’t for every budget. 

With the Model D, you get your choice of legs: standard or elevated. You also get a 14-inch seat height that makes it easier to get on and off while providing enough durability and stability to feel comfortable and secure while rowing. 

This model doesn't fold. Instead, it splits into two pieces for easier transportation and storage. One of the best features is the Performance Monitor 5. This display self-calibrates in real-time to give you instant results on all of the details you need, such as speed, distance, calories burned, and watts produced. Plus, the PM5 will guide you through preset workouts or let you just row. 

With full illustrated assembly instructions, a smartphone holder, detailed user manual, and a quick start guide all included, you will be rowing in no time. For the taller users (over 38-inch inseam), an extra-long monorail option is also available. 

Pros

  • Extremely durable frame design 
  • High seat for easy on and off 
  • preset workout routines 
  • 5-year warranty 

Cons

  • Most expensive single resistance model 
  • Need to stop to adjust dampers 

3. Stamina X Air Rower - Best Air Rower Under $500

Features

Dimensions

(L x H)

79 x 18 x 29 inches

Weight of Machine

63 lbs

Max Inseam

37 inches

Weight Capacity

250 lbs

Stamina's newer model, the X Air Rower, is also a top contender and makes the list as the best rower under $500. Similar to our top pick, this rower packs a lot of punch in an affordable package. 

Part of Stamina's Extreme Training Series, this rower features an angled monorail for smoother returns and a chain drive pull for added durability. 

On top of the sleek looks and stylish design, you get a damper-controlled resistance fan and ergonomic footholds that move with you for a better pull and catch. The embedded display is easy to read with a large mode display button to easily change views while on the go. 

It still offers the folding design for portability and storage as well as the Stamina 3-year warranty coverage. So if you like durable, reliable, and easy-to-use rowers, this may be the answer for you. 

Pros

  • 3-window display for better viewing 
  • More ergonomic design than other models 
  • Affordable and durable rower 

Cons

  • Fan shroud is minimal at blocking any noise 
  • Monorail isn’t as smooth as other brands 
  • Seat gets uncomfortable after long sessions 

4. Aviron Rower - Best Air + Magnetic Rowing Machine

aviron
Features (Impact/Tough) 

Dimensions

(L x H) 

97 x 21 x 43/98 x 21 x 44 inches 

Weight of Machine 

97/125 lbs

Max Inseam 

38/40 inches 

Weight Capacity 

397/507 lbs 

Aviron is one of the most prominent names in row training and sports competition. They offer two models for you to choose from and only two models. Aviron is, by far, the best air magnetic rower on the market. 

With dual resistance, you get 16 levels to work out or relax with. The only choice you have to make is which model do you prefer, the Impact or Tough series? 

With the Impact, you get a 22-inch HD touchscreen with built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 23MP camera. It also has a high-strength, lightweight steel frame, air and magnetic resistance, and a commercial-grade nylon belt. 

You also get a 20-inch seat height for easy on and off without crouching and an adjustable foot pad to fit any size shoe. Plus, the model folds up for transportation and storage. 

The Tough Series has almost everything the Impact series does, with a few exceptions. First, the frame is reinforced heavy-duty steel not lightweight steel, and the deck is 4-inches lower (10 instead of 14 inches). 

While the Tough series doesn't fold, its width and range are adjustable, so all body types fit comfortably with different settings between feet, hips, and legs.  

Head over to our complete Aviron rower review for a more detailed breakdown of this popular model.

Pros

  • 10-year frame, 2-year parts warranty 
  • Most durable construction of any brand 
  • Dual resistance trainer 
  • High user weight limits 

Cons

  • Double the cost of the Concept2 
  • Delivery can take up to 3 months 

5. Marcy - Easiest Rower To Fold

Features

Dimensions

(L x H) 

85 x 21 x 36 inches  

Weight of Machine 

85 lbs 

Max Inseam 

36 inches 

Weight Capacity 

300 lbs 

Marcy is a name that is well known in the home gym space, specifically for their lifting equipment and smith cages. That dedication and dependability follow the brand into the rower market, too. 

The Turbine Rowing machine is the best foldable air rowing machine you can find. It features, among other things, a folding frame that makes transportation and storage simple, fast, and easy. Of course, the unit looks good enough, you may want to leave it out for everyone to see. 

The large turbine air fin and damper design give you maximum airflow for improved resistance and should help dampen the noise created without further restricting the airflow. 

While this model is not the largest on the market is still accommodates most users up to 6-feet tall. Full-extension by those with larger than 37-inch inseams may have a problem, though. However, the upside is that the ergonomic seat and foot pads are adjustable, comfortable, and allow for extra-long sessions. 

The flip-up display is also easy to read and simple to use, tracking time, distance, speed, and caloric burn. Couple that with Marcy's high-quality construction, and you have a rowing machine that will last through years of constant use. And you will use it constantly. 

Pros

  • Ergonomic seat and foot pads 
  • Adjust drag and resistance on the go with the lever-action selector 
  • Folding design with transportation wheels 

Cons

  • 2-year warranty only 
  • Thin-strap pull cable isn’t the highest quality 

Choosing The Best Air Rower Machine (Buying Guide) 

When searching for the ideal rowing machine, there are several factors you need to be aware of. Below, we list these factors and explain why they should be important to you. 

Comfort and Adjustability 

User comfort is one of the most important aspects of a rowing machine. If you aren’t comfortable on the machine (with the exception of the pains from working out), you won’t want to get on very often. 

You also need to make sure your inseam length is right for the full extension. Getting on the unit before you buy is a good idea. You can check that the handles are comfortable and easy to grip and the unit rows smoothly for your size and height.

Display Monitor Functionality 

Most modern rowers will come with a lot of technology. This will include display monitors, read-outs, health trackers, and even ANT+ sensors or Bluetooth connectivity. In addition, you can track your progress through the rower apps, on the display in real-time, or even follow workout programs and listen to music. While these aren't requirements, they are nice additions to have.

Read Also - Best Rowing Machine Apps For Home

Stability & Durability 

You also want the rower to be durable, reliable, and sturdy; a low bridge to assist entering and exiting the rower is also nice. However, you want the unit to be tall enough and strong enough that it doesn’t sag or drag when you are using it. This requires high-quality parts and durable construction. 

Ease of Assembly & Storing 

Some models require a lot of assembly, and others are basically put together for you right out of the box. Depending on the size, cost, and brand, you may have to spend a few hours putting your rower together. The process may be time-consuming but shouldn't be so difficult it causes frustration. 

Some rowing machines are foldable and compact, which makes them easier to store in your home gym. This might be something to look at if you're short on space.

You can find our favorite foldable rowing machines here!

Resistance Levels 

The ability to change resistance will keep you engaged longer. Of course, you want a fun and easy machine to use, but that offers a challenge and allows you to push yourself when needed. By changing the resistance up, you can make yourself work harder and get a deeper workout. However, on longer sessions you may want to lower the resistance so that you can push through to the end. 

Size vs Available Space 

Air rowers aren’t the largest models in the industry, but they still take up some space. You want to ensure you know the footprint and workout area size of the model you prefer before you buy. This will ensure you have the space to accommodate the machine and enough area around it to use it properly. 

Max User Weight & Height 

Another factor to consider is your weight and height compared to the max recommended weight and height for the machine. Weight is self-explanatory and will be detailed on the packaging as to the recommended user weight limit. Going over may not have many issues, but it can cause drag on the rail while using. 

Height is a different story because user height is not from head to toe here. When talking about rowing machines, height is measured as inseam. Just like jeans or pants, you need to know your inseam length. You want the max inseam to be larger than your inseam to ensure you can get a full extension while rowing. 

Noise Level 

Air rowers are the noisiest of all rower types. This is because the fins and dampers will cause the air to swirl and whoosh. Overall the noise isn't horrible, and most users get used to it rather quickly. However, on some models, it can become loud enough to disrupt conversation or force you to increase the volume of the TV or radio. 

Typically, air rowers will be louder than water rowers. The quietest options on the market are magnetic rowers, which are significantly quieter than air rowers but more expensive.

You can check out our list of the best magnetic rowers.

Price & Warranty 

Finally, the price and warranty need to be considered. As we have touched on already, air rowers tend to be more expensive than most other styles, as a whole. If you need to budget for the best air rower for your needs, that is up to you. 

You also need to read through and understand the warranty before you buy. You will need to register your purchase, know the coverage terms and length as well as what is and is not covered. It is also essential that you know the details for making a warranty claim, should the need ever arise. 

Best Air Rowing Machine

How To Use An Air Rowing Machine (Tips For The Best Results)

Results from rowing depend on what you put into it just as much as what you need to get out of it. You can row daily and get the same results as rowing every other day if the every other day rows are more intense. 

There are several guided rowing workouts, apps, and even YouTube videos to follow along with. 

To get you started, we have a few standard air rower workouts to do right now. Each workout should start with a 5-10 minute warm-up. During the warm-up, you want to go slower than a workout pace but fast enough to start sweating a little bit. 

You can also warm up with jumping jacks, leg and back stretching, and jogging in place. You should be slightly sticky with sweat before you begin the workout. 

Aerobic Workout 

  • Warm-up. 
  • Set your timer, workout clock, or app to 4 minutes run time and 2 minutes rest time. There will be 4 workout intervals and 3 rest intervals. 
  • Start rowing for the first 4-minute interval. Use a moderate pace with a decent resistance. 
  • Rest for 2 minutes. 
  • Repeat the same for each interval, pushing so that when the fourth 4-minute timer is up, you are winded and unable to go any more. 
  • Perform a 5-minute cool down cycle to prevent muscle lock-up or cramping. 

Power 10s 

  • Warm-up for a few minutes. Make sure to stretch your hamstrings, quads, and lower back. 
  • Set your interval timer for 20 minutes with alerts at every 60 seconds. 
  • Begin rowing at a moderate but comfortable pace with medium resistance. Ensure your form is near perfect. 
  • When the alert goes off, row 10 strokes as hard and fast as you can, slowing back to your moderate rhythm after the 10th stroke. 
  • Repeat for the full 20 minutes. 
  • Perform a 5-minute cool down cycle to prevent muscle lock-up or cramping. 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are air rowers good exercise for weight loss? 

Any rower can be a good exercise for weight loss, and air rowers are no different. Losing weight with just rowing, though, isn't likely to happen. You need to change your diet and ensure you are working out correctly to lose weight. Always talk with your doctor or dietitian to determine the best course of action for a weight loss regimen. 

Air vs water vs magnetic rowers – which is the best resistance? 

All rowers offer various levels of resistance, but magnetic tend to be the most variable. Water and air resistance is a more life-like feel, but for a full power resistance machine, magnetic rowers have more to offer. The best option, though, is a dual resistance machine that uses air and magnets. Known as an air-magnetic rower, they give you a life-like feel and extra resistance. The Aviron Rower in the list above is one example. 

What are the best air rower brands? 

There are a lot of brands manufacturing and producing rowing machines. The most popular and highly rated brands include Concept2, Stamina, and Marcy. These brands offer durable, reliable machines at a better value and price than most other competitors. 

Is an air rowing machine good for an apartment? 

Air rowing machines are lightweight and easy to assemble. They can get loud while in use but not so loud to disrupt the neighbors on the other side of your floor, ceiling, or walls. Because the whoosh of air and the glide of the seat are the only things making noise (unless you grunt), air rowers are great for apartment workouts.


Conclusion

Air rowers give you a life-like water rowing feel, smooth operation, and excellent resistance. While some models can be high cost, the value you get from the machines are almost always worth it. 

If you are still having trouble deciding on the best air rower, have another look at our top pick. The Stamina ATS Air Rower is compact, powerful, folding, and comes with everything you need to get a great workout any time of day or night.