5 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines – Quiet Performance And High-Quality Workout

Last updatedLast updated: September 22, 2021
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When looking for a highly effective and efficient low impact workout, few equipment can give you what you need. One of the undisputedly best equipment for such workouts is a magnetic rowing machine. The rowing machine is nearly perfect as a fitness equipment. It does it all, so to speak. From cardio and muscular activation to a full-body workout, you will likely get your fix with this equipment. However, just recognizing how great this equipment is, isn’t enough. We have made this post to help you navigate the best magnetic rowing machine options on the market so that you can choose the right one model for you.

In this post, after testing 26 models, we have reviewed in detail 5 of the best units on the market right now. Our number one choice from all the options is the Merax Magnetic Exercise Rover. This unit is our top pick for several reasons. First, it is an entry-level unit that comes with a smooth and quiet rowing stroke. It is great for early morning or late night exercising since it makes very little noise. It is convenient to use, as well. You can fold it up and roll it away after use. Therefore, it is excellent if you don’t have plenty of space in the house. The monitor and motor are also excellent and contribute to making this one of the best units you can buy right now. In the review below, we will consider more features of this unit as well as those of the other 4 options.

Creating this post sapped our time and energy, and we hope you find it useful. Some of the factors that we considered in creating this list include resistance levels, slide rail length, inseam rail length, weight capacity, dimensions and weight. These are considered in the buying guide and in the detailed reviews of each specific model. Aside from the guide, you will also find a comparison table and an FAQ section. We hope the information here will help you choose the best magnetic rowing machine.

Top 5 Magnetic Rowing Machines Review 2021


Merax Magnetic Exercise RowerEditor’s Choice

  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Stride rail length: 49 inches
  • Inseam rail length: not specified
  • Weight capacity: 264 lbs
  • Dimensions: 73 x 16 x 21 inches/ 26 x 16 x 49 inches (folded)
  • Weight: 74 lbs.

More features: 15 degree angled seat rail, 1-year warranty

This model is an entry-level magnetic rower great for home use. It features solid construction, a handy console, a good price, and excellent features that make it one of the best on the market today and the best overall on this roundup. It will certainly give you the full-body workout that you crave.

This unit comes with a steel frame build. Hence, it will last for a long time and can take punishment without damage. Furthermore, the frame is finished with a corrosion-resistant powder. As for the other parts, they are made from ABS material.

Dimension-wise, it is a compact unit that doesn’t take as much space as other units on the market. It comes completely assembled; thus, you do not need to ask for help setting it up.

Despite the steel frame and durable construction, it is a relatively lightweight unit. It weighs just 68 pounds. This weight not only allows you to move it around, but it also grants it a level of stability.

One unique feature of this unit is that it isn’t horizontal. Therefore, rowing is faster, and you enjoy a more thorough workout for your legs.

The top of the unit is padded and comes with a non-slip surface. Therefore, you will likely find it very comfortable to use.

The resistance system is quite impressive as well. It is completely manual which means you don’t have to hook it up to an electrical output port.

The 8 resistance levels are adequate for an intense workout, although the highest resistance system might not be enough for a professional athlete.

What are our favorite features?

  • Quiet and smooth performance
  • Easy to set up
  • Doesn’t require plenty of maintenance
  • Excellent resistance levels

What could be better?

  • Lacks heart rate monitor
  • No LED backlight
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  • Resistance levels: 16
  • Stride rail length: 49 inches
  • Inseam rail length: 45 inches
  • Weight capacity: 264 lbs
  • Dimensions: 76.4 x 19.7 inches/ 42.3 x 19.7 x 37.4 inches (folded)
  • Weight: 57.3 lbs.

More features: suitable for whole family use, large seat, 1-year warranty

The value pick on this roundup is one of the best machines for home use. It might not have all the fancy features of more expensive units, but the overall usability and functionality offer great value for money. It is compact, well-built and will target the right muscles to give you a toned look.

There are several reasons why this is one of the best units for home use.

First of all, it is very quiet. In fact, it is one of the quietest units that we have ever tested. It has a very useful storage hole under the adjustment knob. This ‘basket’ allows you to place your stuff, for example, water bottles and phones as you work out.

The unit might come with a sturdy build, but it is quite lightweight. It weighs just 64 pounds. Therefore, it is stable and can be moved around. To help you move it, it also comes with roller wheels. Thus, you can move it on your own.

It does not come completely assembled; however, it is relatively easy to set up. During testing, we could set it up in less than 30 minutes.

The 16 resistance levels is one of the highest number on this roundup. This ensures that you can engage in intense workouts.

One downside of the unit is that the console does not track the distance. Instead, it uses reps as a unit of measurement. Some might find this annoying, but it makes up for it by still tracking important metrics like total reps, calories, and time spent.

Why is it special?

  • Quiet performance
  • Quick assembly
  • 16 resistance levels
  • Easy to transport

What are the flaws?

  • Tiny LCD
  • Doesn’t track the distance
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  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Stride rail length: 48 inches
  • Inseam rail length: 44 inches
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Dimensions: 82 x 23 x 19 inches/ 53.5 x 37 x 19 inches (folded)
  • Weight: 59 lbs.

More features: built-in transportation wheels, fully padded seat

This unit offers all you need from a magnetic rower. However, it offers all these for a fraction of the cost. It features an eight-level tension knob, large, textured pedals, and more features that will make your workout an enjoyable and efficient affair.

The 8 level tension is very handy. It allows you to increase or decrease the intensity of your workout easily.

There are large, padded pedals that come with safety straps that will make your workout safe and challenging. Furthermore, the straps ensure that regardless of how quickly you row, the machine remains stable.

Aside from the pedals, the seat is also cushioned.

There is an LCD monitor that comes in quite handy. The display shows important information and the statistics that will help you to track your workout.

It does not come fully assembled in the package. Fortunately, it comes with all the hardware materials that you will need to set it up in a jiffy. It comes in a compact and foldable build. Therefore you can put it away after you have completed your workout.

It is a quiet rower too, with 8 levels of magnetic resistance.

It comes with its fair share of downsides. For example, the monitor gives you only the most basic of metrics. It also has just 90 days warranty.

Overall though, it is a great unit, especially for this price. It is a solid option that you would likely enjoy if you are on a tight budget.

What stands out?

  • Nice design
  • Portable
  • Easy to adjust resistance levels

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Basic console
  • Poor warranty
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Velocity Exercise Magnetic RowerBest Weight Capacity

  • Resistance levels: 6 in each of the 12 workout programs
  • Stride rail length: not specified
  • Inseam rail length: 44 inches
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs
  • Dimensions: 80.71 x 25.2 x 20.08 inches/ 4.5 x 3 x 2 feet (folded)
  • Weight: 74.94 lbs.

More features: extremely stable, built-in heart rate receiver

This unit offers the best weight capacity on this roundup. It is a mid-range unit that costs more than others on this roundup. The DMC system offers users an excellent and nearly unparalleled performance. It comes with several preprogrammed workouts and a heart rate monitor among other useful features.

There are several features that make this unit one of the best rowers on the market right now.

First of all, it comes with Drum Magnetic Control. This system is a very handy braking system.

Due to the excellent, magnetic resistance, it is a very quiet unit. The magnetic nature implies that no parts grind against each other. Therefore, it is not only quiet but also very durable.

It features 8 levels of resistance. The highest level is sufficient to give you a very intense workout. You can also use the lowest resistance levels. Therefore, whether young or old, you can enjoy using this unit. Furthermore, it is very easy to adjust the resistance level. All you need to do is press the UP and DOWN buttons on the monitor.

The monitor is another reason why this is an excellent product. It is a 5-button monitor located at a convenient place that you can easily access during rowing. It is also quite detailed. It gives you information about your pulse, calories, time, distance, and more. It is bright and easy to read in bright and low light conditions. It is very adjustable as well and gives you all the information you need.

The unit further gives you up to a dozen workout programs. Impressively, you will also find that the rower comes with an in-built heart rate tracker and receiver. Therefore, you will get the best of your cardio workout.

It is a very durable magnetic rower. The frame is made from aluminum, which is lightweight and sturdy.

The seats and footrests are padded and very comfortable to use as well. As for the handle, it comes with a strong grip design.

The 275-pound weight capacity of this unit is also one of the best on this roundup. Therefore, it should accommodate most users.

What makes it stand out?

  • Quiet
  • Comfortable
  • 12 programmable options
  • Durable

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Poor warranty
RELATED: 5 Best Foldable Rowing Machines – Save Space Without Troubles

ECHANFIT Rowing Machine Best Adjustable Console Angle

  • Resistance levels: 16
  • Stride rail length: 46.5 inches
  • Inseam rail length: not specified
  • Weight capacity: 265 lbs
  • Dimensions: 75.2 x 33.46 x 19.29 inches
  • Weight: 61 lbs.

More features: 1-year warranty, adjustable console angle

This unit offers 16 levels of resistance and has the best adjustable console angle on this roundup. It is compact and can be folded, which is great if you are short of space. It is also sturdily constructed and will last for a long time.

When fully assembled, this unit is smaller than many other options on the market. Therefore, it is compact and great for folks that do not have plenty of space in their home.

When completely set up, it weighs just 55 pounds, which is one of the lightest options on this roundup. Thus, it can be carried by one person. It also means that assembly is not particularly cumbersome.

Since it comes with a slightly inclined rail, it has a better recovery motion that what you might be used to. It also means that you have to work harder in the leg-push phase.

The seat is fairly large and ensures optimal comfort. It is well padded and durable.

The rower has a weight capacity of 265 pounds which should suit most people right to the ground.

The pivoting design of the footrests allows them to swivel on their axis. Therefore, you have some flexibility as you workout.

The magnetic resistance system is up to 16, instead of the more common 8 levels found on other units. This is great since it means you will most likely find the perfect workout resistance for you.

The console does not come with any pre-set workouts. However, it serves to track your workout progress. It shows the RPM, time, calories, and distance.

What do we love it for?

  • Large padded seat
  • Quiet
  • Easy to set up
  • Pivoting footrests
  • Foldable and compact

What were we disappointed with?

  • No backlight LCD
  • Lack pulse reader

Things to Consider

In the roundup above, we consider 5 of the best units that you can buy right now. This will help you to narrow down the choices that you have. It will certainly assist you to choose the best option on the market. In creating this list, we considered several important factors. In this section, we will discuss these important factors. Knowledge of these factors will help you as you make a buying decision.

Benefits of Magnetic Rowing Machines

There are several reasons why it is great to have a magnetic rowing machine as part of your work out equipment.

Effective Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is important regardless of your age. Aerobic exercise offers several health benefits. Some of the benefits of this exercise include enhanced immune system, improved sleep, weight loss, improved stamina, and more.

Using a magnetic rowing machine is an excellent way of engaging in this form of exercise, even though you can always opt for a hydraulic rowing machine. Rowing ensures that you use many major muscles groups. This increases your heart rate, leads to more oxygen in the blood and improves your workout sessions.

Weight Loss

Using a magnetic rowing machine can help you to lose weight faster and more effectively. Since it is a full-body workout, it will help to burn calories and increase your metabolism. Research shows that using this machine in one hour can help to burn up to 600 calories. When you combine exercising with this machine with a healthy diet, you will lose weight faster and safely.

Upper-body Workout

Since you will be using your upper body as you work on the rowing machine, it offers an excellent upper body workout regime. You will exercise the rhomboids in the shoulders, the lats in the lower back, and your trapezius located in the upper back.

And the benefits of these cannot be understated. You have better posture, and it can even help to reduce or eliminate back pain.

5 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines - Quiet Performance And High-Quality Workout

Lower-Body Workout

Using this machine will also exercise your lower body. It will exercise your leg muscles, thighs, calves, glutes, and the entire lower body. It will, in turn, improve your flexibility and overall balance.


With this machine, you can row without going on the water. You can buy a portable unit and enjoy all the benefits of rowing from the comfort of your home.

Affordable and Easy to Use

The best magnetic rowing machines are easy to use. There are no complicated procedures, and you can start working out effectively as soon as possible.

They are also quite affordable.

Features to Consider when Choosing a Magnetic Rowing Machine

Before making a purchase it is always advisable to keep the main features in mind, and here you’ll find the list of them, with all the explanations needed.


The design of the machine mainly depends on three factors. These are the space, your weight and height.

  • Space

The design you choose will be influenced by the amount of space that you have available. You must consider the size of your room. You also need to think about how you plan on transporting it around (if you will be moving it around).

There are different sizes available on the market today.

The best units range from 5 feet to 8 feet in length. Therefore, you should have that much space available in your house.
If you are short of space, then it would be prudent to consider more compact units. Some of the best units on the market are foldable. The top pick, the Merax Magnetic Exercise Rover, for example, comes in a compact and foldable design.

If, however, space isn’t a problem, then you can choose a heavy-duty unit that is larger in size.

  • Your weight

Rowing machines have maximum weight capacities. You should not choose a unit without first knowing your weight and the amount of weight that the machine can safely carry.

The Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower, for example, can carry up to 275 pounds of weight. If you weigh this much, then you can use it safely. If you do not weigh as much, though, you can safely use the other units recommended on this roundup.

  • Height

At first glance, this might not seem to be an important consideration; however, it is essential. Since you might likely be in an inclined position, you need to consider the length of the beam. The taller you are, the longer the beam you will need.

The beam affects the leg range. Therefore, choosing a short beam for your height will result in an uncomfortable or even dangerous workout session for you.


Resistance refers to how much force is required to complete one stroke.

Without adequate resistance, your workout would be in vain. The higher the resistance level, the more energy you would expend in your workout.

Magnetic rowing machines use magnets in creating resistance. It works by using magnets on a flywheel.

Many units on the market come with 8 resistance levels, which is good. It gives you the opportunity to choose just how much resistance you want. There are, however, some units that have even more resistance levels. The ECHANFIT Rowing Machinefor example, has up to 16 levels of resistance. This offer even more options and improves the variety of your workout session.

Extra Features

5 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines - Quiet Performance And High-Quality Workout

Some other features are important, although not essential.

For instance, comfort is important. To that end, look for units that have padded seats, as the best rowing machine under 300$ the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 does, and footrests. You will find it useful, especially if you plan on rowing for extended periods.

Another important feature is the console. Consoles contain information about your workout statistics. From our research, we have discovered that the more expensive the unit, the more details you get on the console.

Some of the things you should look out for in the consoles include whether it is backlit or not. You should also check out if it comes with preset programs. These programs can add some spice and variation to your workout.


The main difference between magnetic rowing machines and other rowing machines is the resistance system. As the name implies, these units use magnets to drive the flywheel. Other models use air or other media.

It depends on the model. However, the units reviewed above all come easy to assemble. Some even come fully assembled so you can use it almost immediately.

Our Verdict

Choosing the best magnetic rowing machine can be a hassle, and that is why we have created this post. From our research and testing, the Merax Magnetic Exercise Rower is the top choice. This model is an entry-level magnetic rower great for home use. It features solid construction, a handy console, a good price, and excellent features that make it one of the best on the market today and the best overall on this roundup.

Next is the MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine. It might not have all the fancy features of more expensive units, but the overall usability and functionality offer great value for money. It is compact, well-built and will target the right muscles to give you a toned look. For those on a budget, Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 offers all you need from a magnetic rower. It features an eight-level tension knob, large, textured pedals, and more features that will make your workout an enjoyable and efficient affair.

We hope this roundup and review helps you in choosing the best magnetic rowing machine on the market right now.

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