8 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines: Reviews for All Budgets

A magnetic rowing machine’s design allows for a near-silent operation during low-impact, highly effective workouts.

This comprehensive guide provides you with helpful information about what to look for when choosing the best quality magnetic rowing machine. 

Magnetic Rower vs Other Rowing Resistance Types

Magnetic rowing machines have a more compact build, quiet operation, and affordable price tag than most other rowing types. Magnets inside the machine create a base-line resistance level that can be increased to suit a user’s personal preference while eliminating friction.

Magnetic vs. Water Rowing Machines

Water rowing machines are intended to simulate the feeling and sound of rowing on water, which leads to expensive manufacturing costs and price points.

The flywheel of a water rower is in the water tank, so the faster you row, the more resistance you’ll come up against. In contrast, users of magnetic rowers have full control over resistance and can maintain a steady resistance regardless of their speed. 

Magnetic vs. Air Rowing Machines

Air rowing machines operate similarly to water rowing machines, and a user's speed has a direct impact on resistance. This rower type mimics real-life rowing but is noisier than both magnetic and water rowers. Air rowers also tend to be expensive.

Magnetic vs. Hydraulic Rowing Machines

A hydraulic rower is generally the most inexpensive option. However, hydraulic rowing machines lack the durability that magnetic rowers and other types have. When choosing between the two, magnetic rowers are preferred because they tend to be similarly priced with more reliable performance.


How to Choose a Quality Magnetic Rowing Machine

Machine Footprint & Storage Features

Size is a significant factor when finding the right magnetic rowing machine for your home. It’s important to find a machine that is as compact as necessary for your living space.

Some models will have transportation wheels to allow for easier portability. We recommend looking for a model that can be folded and stored away when not in use.  

Rower Inseam Length

Rower inseam length impacts a user’s ability to complete a full stride during a workout. User height should be compatible with a rower’s inseam length, so know your inseam measurements ahead of time. Likewise, check the rower’s user weight capacity before you invest in the equipment.

Comfort & Adjustability

An ergonomically designed rower with a comfortable seat and handlebars shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s essential to make adjustments to the rower before and during a workout, if necessary. 

The first adjustments you’ll want to make are foot placement and body position with consideration for your height. Next, you can adjust the rower's resistance level.

Noise Level

Some rowing machines can have a loud operation. If you’re looking for equipment that can be used at any time of the day or night without disrupting others in your home, a quiet magnetic rower is likely your best option.

Ease of Assembly

Assembling exercise equipment can be a hassle, which is why it’s important to make sure that the rower you purchase comes with clear instructions.

Pay close attention to the type of drive system an indoor rower has, and whether the model uses a belt or chain to connect the wheel and handle. Chains are far more durable but require more maintenance than belts.

Extra Features

A rower’s display monitor will showcase the data for each workout. Some models offer preset workout programs with different options for the duration, distance, and interval workouts. Newer rowing machines might also enable Bluetooth or app connectivity so that your workout can be even more enjoyable.

Warranty

Because purchasing a rower is an investment, most brands will include warranty coverage. However, coverage can be limited to short-term return policies.

If you want to ensure that your equipment is protected, we recommend looking for a model with at least a 2-year warranty plan.

Price

Magnetic rowing machines tend to be more affordable than water and air rowers because manufacturing the equipment is cheaper. You will see the best return for your investment for long-term use if you select a high-quality magnetic rower with a smooth performance.


8 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines Reviewed

1. Fitness Reality 4000MR

On Sale Today
Fitness Reality 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing...
  • [15 WORKOUT PROGRAMS]: 10 Preset workout...
  • [DUAL INDEPENDENT ROWING HANDLES]: Real full...
  • [16 LEVEL MAGNETIC TENSIONS]: 16 Level DUAL...
  • [BACKLIT LCD CONSOLE]: Highly visible backlit...

Our Top Pick

Dimensions (In Use)

72 x 25 x 51.5 in

Dimensions (Folded)

45 x 25 x 59 in

Resistance Levels

16

Max User Weight

300 lbs

The Fitness Reality 4000MR is the best magnetic resistance rowing machine on the market and our all-around top pick. 

This model offers 16 resistance levels through its magnetic tension system, enabling users to vary their workouts from day-to-day depending on personal target goals. The four-floor stabilizers attached to the base of the structure guarantee a steady rowing experience. Users will have an even smoother experience because of the large anti-slip foot pedals with straps.

The 4000MR model is well-suited for individuals between 5’ and 6’5” tall who weigh less than 300 pounds. Users who want full control over their rower’s capabilities will love how this model can be adjusted and adapted to their preferences. From the floor stabilizers to the console, users can make all of the adjustments necessary for a great rowing experience.

An additional perk of this model is the ten preset workout programs and five customized programs available to users.

The chain-driven dual transmission mechanism gives you the right amount of strength for an intense workout, and the dual independent handles give you a full range of motion with a comfortable grip. A sizeable contoured seat provides extra comfort so you can set new endurance records for yourself.

Pros

  • Warranty: 5-year for frame, 3-year for parts, and 2-year for electronics/wearable parts
  • Contoured seat
  • Folds
  • Resistance variety
  • Dual independent handles

Cons

  • Limited availability

2. NordicTrack RW Rower

Top Of The Range

Dimensions (In Use)

86.5 x 22 x 50.4 in

Dimensions (Folded)

46” (116.8 cm)

Resistance Levels

26 + manual air resistance

Max User Weight

250 lbs

If you’re looking for a magnetic rowing machine that will deliver all you want and more, you should consider investing in the NordicTrack RW Rower.

This top of the range rowing machine successfully simulates the feeling of being on the water without creating excessive noise. There are two forms of resistance: the magnetic system with 26 levels and the manual air resistance control system. With this feature, you can create workouts that are unlike your previous ones.

The build of this rower is impressive and includes a 22-inch HD smart touchscreen display. When you purchase this NordicTrack model, you also receive a one-year membership to iFit. Through the display screen, you can view and take part in interactive personal training programs. This amenity is especially beneficial for first-time users who are still perfecting their rowing form and style.

The quick-adjust, oversized pedals and the ergonomic molded seat give you optimal comfort. With the SpaceSaver design, you can easily fold and unfold the rower when needed and store it when not in use.

For those who want a smooth rowing experience and the ability to tap into interactive workout programs, this is an excellent rower to invest in.

Pros

  • Warranty: 10-year for frame, 2-year for parts, and 1-year for labor
  • 1-year iFit membership
  • 26 resistance levels
  • Silent operation
  • SpaceSaver design

Cons

  • Bluetooth not available

3. Merax

On Sale Today
Merax Rowing Machine Indoor Home Rower...
  • 【8-Level Adjustable Tension...
  • 【Reliable Ergonomic Construction】12.2”...
  • 【Silent Fitness Equipment for Home Gym】...
  • 【Traceable Workout Results】The adjustable...

Best Magnetic Rowing Machine Under $300

Dimensions (In Use)

80.3 x 18.9 x 31.5 in

Dimensions (Folded)

32.7 x 18.9 x 80.3 in

Resistance Levels

8

Max User Weight

340 lbs

With all rowers and brands considered, the Merax rower is the best magnetic rowing machine priced under $300.

This rowing machine has been ergonomically and thoughtfully designed to bring users excellent quality for an affordable price point. There are eight different resistance levels so that you can choose a leisurely or challenging rowing experience on any given day.

The compact design makes it so that you don’t have to worry about handling bulky equipment when storing the rower upright. Structured with an aluminum slide rail, floor protectors, and built-in wheels, this model is a durable and portable addition to your home gym.

Efficiency is a defining factor in the assembly, rowing, and storing process. The assembly process is straightforward and can be completed in about half an hour, and the rower’s features are equally user-friendly.

Equipped with an adjustable LED digital monitor and device holder, you can track your workout stats while streaming music or video on your phone. Whether setting out to break a speed record or build endurance, the foam handlebar and large contoured cushion seat provide much-needed comfort during your rowing workout.

This magnetic rowing machine can be a great piece of introductory equipment for users who are rowing for the first time.

Pros

  • 1-year warranty
  • High weight capacity
  • Ergonomic design
  • Compact

Cons

  • Fewer resistance levels than some models

4. Circuit Fitness Deluxe Foldable

On Sale Today
CIRCUIT FITNESS Circuit Fitness Deluxe...
  • HARD-WEARING CONSTRUCTION - Made from...
  • VARIABLE RESISTANCE SETTINGS - This practical...
  • COMFORTABLE WORKOUT GEAR - Reinforced with a...
  • DIGITAL SCREEN DISPLAY - Completed with an...

Best Magnetic Rowing Machine Under $500

Dimensions (In Use)

71 x 20.5 x 31.5 in

Dimensions (Folded)

49 x 20. 5 x 51 in

Resistance Levels

8

Max User Weight

300 lbs

When it comes to the best magnetic rowing machine under $500, our top choice is the Circuit Fitness Deluxe Foldable rower.

The LCD display panel tracks all of the stats you need to keep up with to meet your next fitness goal. Users who purchase a heart rate monitor chest strap have the option to track their pulse as well. 

Both the foam-covered handlebars and the pedals have been designed with anti-slip construction, so you can focus on your workout without worrying about your stability. A durable injection-molded seat is especially well-suited for days when you want to extend the duration of your rowing workout and rack on more miles.

The rower folds compactly with transport wheels that further simplify movement from one place to another. Users can choose between eight different resistance levels depending on the desired intensity for a workout. The manual magnetic resistance system gives you full control over the difficulty and duration of your workout.

The body of this Circuit Fitness model has been well-constructed. The premium-grade frame and slide rail are made from heavy-duty steel and aluminum, so users can trust that they will receive an overall stable and secure rowing experience in return for their purchase.

Pros

  • Warranty: 2-year limited
  • Ergonomic design
  • High weight capacity
  • Durable injection-molded seat
  • Folds

Cons

  • Shorter-term warranty

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515

On Sale Today
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing...
  • DIGITAL MONITOR: The large LCD console...
  • EXTRA LONG SLIDE RAIL: At 48 inches in slide...
  • ADJUSTABLE MAGNETIC RESISTANCE: With a simple...
  • TRANSPORTATION WHEELS: Built-in...

Popular Model

Dimensions (In Use)

82 x 19 x 23 in

Dimensions (Folded)

37 x 19 x 53.5 in

Resistance Levels

8

Max User Weight

250 lbs

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is one of the most popular magnetic rowing machines available on the market.

This model’s popularity stems from its quality design and performance capabilities. An extra long slide rail and a 44-inch inseam length makes this rower a practical option for users of nearly any height. It’s also worth noting that the user weight capacity extends to 250 pounds.

The LCD digital monitor displays the time, count, calories, and total count of each rowing workout. Additionally, the monitor has a scan mode that tracks and shows your progress as you tackle your various fitness goals.

As far as the build goes, this rower is designed with a steel slide rail, transportation wheels, and floor stabilizes that provide you with a solid foundation structure. The features of the rower are just as impressive.

The pivoting pedals, a textured handlebar, and ergonomically cushioned seat contribute to a versatile and comfortable rowing experience regardless of how much time and energy you exert.

Like our other top-ranked models, the SF-RW5515 rower has a foldable design for your convenience. When you purchase this model, you’ll receive a 3-year warranty for the structural frame and 180-day coverage for other parts and components.

Pros

  • Warranty: 3-year for frame and 180 days for other parts
  • Extra long slide rail
  • High weight capacity
  • Non-slip features

Cons

  • Less warranty coverage

6. Fitness Reality 1000

On Sale Today
FITNESS REALITY 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic...
  • Enjoy free forever basic workout data...
  • Revolutionize your workout with on water and...
  • 14 Level DUAL TRANSMISSION magnetic tension...
  • Patent pending front stabilizer foot pads...

Best Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing Machine

Dimensions (In Use)

88.5 x 21.5 x 21.5 in

Dimensions (Folded)

39.5 x 21.5 x 53.5 in

Resistance Levels

14

Max User Weight

250 lbs

The Fitness Reality 1000 is a multi-purpose magnetic rowing machine that offers the best  Bluetooth capabilities.

Users can download the free My Cloud Fitness app and use the rower’s Bluetooth connection to track your workout results. The app has three workout goal settings and keeps a record of the time, distance, and calories burned during your exercises. 

With some other rowing machines on the market, the surface-level amenities are all that you get. However, this model has patent-pending front stabilizer footpads that allow users to do more than rowing exercises. Curls, upright rows, bent-over rows, and tricep extensions are only a few of the additional workouts that you can incorporate into your routine with this model.

During every workout, you can track your stats and progress on the 5-inch LCD display while comfortably situated on a large contoured cushion seat. The extra-wide foam handlebar is another feature that contributes to a smoother rowing experience, even as you test the boundaries of your speed and endurance.

Anyone between 4’9” to 6’6” tall weighing less than 250 pounds can benefit from using the Fitness Reality 1000 model. Users can choose between 14 resistance levels as they work toward new personal bests.

Pros

  • Warranty: 1-year limited with the option to purchase coverage for five extra years
  • Multi-purpose exercises
  • Bluetooth Smart Cloud Fitness
  • Pivoting pedals
  • Stores easily

Cons

  • Less warranty coverage

7. Stamina Avari

Best Value For Money

Dimensions (In Use)

81 x 20 x 24.5 in

Dimensions (Folded)

36 x 20 x 53.5 in

Resistance Levels

12

Max User Weight

275 lbs

The Stamina Avari magnetic rowing machine offers the best value for your money.

This model comes equipped with 12 different workout programs to allow for more variety in users’ exercise routines. The six cardio profiles include a manual setting, four customized workouts, and a heart rate monitor program.

The heart rate monitor program is especially worth mentioning because the magnetic tension level will adjust to your heart rate. Not many brands will include a chest strap that tracks your heart rate with the purchase of a rower, but this brand and model are exceptions.

A Backlit InTouch® Fitness LCD monitor displays all of the information you need to track to meet your fitness goals. During a rowing workout, you can make quick adjustments to the tension level and workout time by locating the arrow buttons on the rower.

The steel frame and extruded aluminum beam make this model more durable and sturdy for long-term use. The Stamina Avari’s foldable capabilities and built-in wheels allow you to move the rower and store it without difficulty.

The molded seat and foam-padded handle give you just the right amount of comfort so that you can row for longer durations of time without any pain.

Pros

  • Warranty: 3-year for frame and 90 days for parts
  • Backlit InTouch® Fitness LCD monitor
  • Molded seat
  • Sturdy construction
  • Chest strap

Cons

  • Less resistance variety than some other models

8. MaxKare

No products found.

Best Budget Magnetic Rowing Machine

Dimensions (In Use)

76.4 x 19.7 x 18.5 in

Dimensions (Folded)

37.4 x 19.7 x 42.3 in

Resistance Levels

16

Max User Weight

243 lbs

The MaxKare magnetic rowing machine is the best budget option on the market.

Many users take up rowing because other high-impact exercises can overstrain muscles and worsen shoulder, back, and knee pain. This affordable magnetic rower offers a low-impact alternative to other cardio workouts while still being highly effective at burning calories and building strength.

This model has 16 adjustable resistance levels and an ergonomic design overall. The magnetic control flywheel creates a smooth and quiet rowing experience, so you can workout anytime noise-free. The large cushion seat and padded handle provide you with optimal comfort during your rowing workout.

This model can be well-suited for users with a maximum height of 6’5” and a weight of 243 pounds. Those looking for more inseam length in their rower will be drawn to this model for its 45-inch inseam length.

The extra-long slide rail and non-slip features on this MaxKare model give users a full range of motion and constant stability. As you exercise, you can track your data for the duration, repetitions per minute, calories burned, and more on the multi-functional LCD monitor.

Additionally, the front-mounted wheels allow for easy movement, and the foldable design means that you can conveniently store the machine away when necessary.

Pros

  • Warranty: 2-year manufacturer’s warranty and 30 day full refund window
  • Resistance level variety
  • High weight capacity
  • Folds
  • Affordability

Cons

  • Minimal monitor features

Why Use a Magnetic Rowing Machine Over Other Styles?

A magnetic rowing machine offers a safe and effective low-impact style of exercise. Users who integrate rowing into their cardio routine will see positive short-term and long-term results.

There are several defining characteristics of this exercise method including that these rowing machines are suited to beginners:

  • Low-impact with high reward
  • Full-body workout
  • Beginner-friendly and easy to use
  • Quiet and smooth experience
  • Adaptable to small spaces

How to Effectively Use a Magnetic Rower

Effectively using a magnetic rower begins with knowing and practicing the proper form and rowing stroke. It’s possible to strain your muscles or cause worse damage if you don’t modify an incorrect approach. 

Though pulling with your arms might seem like the natural choice, it’s best to utilize your leg strength instead. Remember to keep your back straight but relaxed.  


Recommended Magnetic Rowing Machine Workouts

An interval workout is a great way to balance a higher intensity with a lower intensity.

Alternating between the two for a couple of minutes at a time is effective at increasing your heart rate and burning calories.

Interval workouts are best in short bursts of 15 to 30 minutes, which is beneficial for users with busy schedules.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What other indoor rowing accessories do I need aside from a rowing machine?

A pair of good quality rowing gloves are a necessity for many users. To make sure your rower is stable, it’s also a smart idea to invest in a mat.

Can you lose belly fat on a rowing machine?

Yes. Regular use of a rowing machine can boost weight loss and effectively tone the muscles throughout your entire body.

How many calories does a rowing machine burn?

The number of calories burned can vary, but you will typically burn between 210 and 311 calories in thirty minutes.

Which specific muscles does a magnetic rowing machine target?

The main muscles you target when rowing are the upper back, core, triceps, glutes, and quads.

Is it easy to get these large machines shipped when buying online?

Definitely. Purchasing a rowing machine online and shipping it to your home simplifies the process for you because you don’t have to handle the item’s transportation.

Where is the best place to buy magnetic rowers?

Magnetic rowers and other related accessories can be purchased at your convenience through Amazon.


Conclusion

When you invest in a magnetic rowing machine, you tap into an effective and low-impact form of exercise with long-lasting health benefits.

Individuals who experience discomfort when using high-impact equipment should consider opting for the Fitness Reality 4000MR or any of the top-ranking rowers in this review.