How this popular rowing machine helps me get better workouts at home than I did at the gym

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Many are calling the Hydrow Rower the “Peloton of Rowing.” I decided to put the machine to the test to see if it lives up to the hype. With its competitive aspects, such as leaderboards and classes, I thought the Hydrow Rower might spice up my workout enough to stay interested.

What is the Hydrow Rower?

The Hydrow Rower is an immersive, subscription-based rowing machine with an ergonomic design and numerous interactive features.


This machine features several waterways you can choose from that allow you to simulate an actual rowing experience. Eventually, Hydrow plans to release a weightlifting mode that will enable you to use the machine for things like bicep curls.

How the Hydrow works

The Hydro works much like a traditional rowing machine but has a screen to choose from different classes and experiences. I started with Hydrow's On-the-Mat warm-up and cool-down classes and then transitioned to their medium-level rowing class. As someone who hasn't used a rowing machine in a while, it was nice having an instructor giving me cues and form checks throughout the course.


The touch screen was quick and responsive. There was virtually no lag time between the touch and registering the action. The machine has a community leaderboard you can view during on-demand classes that drove me to do my best with each workout. In addition to the leaderboard, Hydrow has a team feature that allows you to work alongside a partner to compete in weekly challenges.

What you need to know before purchasing a Hydrow Rower

Hydrow has a database to monitor my workout progress and compare my old workouts to my new ones. The database feature was both intuitive and helpful as I worked toward getting better at rowing. I really liked the Hydrow’s design, so much so, I even left the machine out in the open rather than tucking it away in my garage.

The machine is easy to figure out. I felt that even the least technically savvy rowers out there would have an easy time using Hydrow. The price point is relatively high, but I felt like I got my money’s worth. One of the most impressive things about the Hydrow machine was how quiet it was while I was using it.

Where to buy a Hydrow rower

The best place to buy a Hydrow right now is on Amazon.

Other rowing machines worth considering

Although you won’t get the same immersive experience from this rowing machine as you would Hydrow, this Magnetic Rowing Machine by Sunny Health & Fitness makes an excellent budget alternative. Assembling this machine is straightforward, and the LCD screen displays calorie-count, total repetition count and time. This machine allows you to adjust the resistance as needed and is sturdy enough to hold up to even the most dedicated rowers.

This rowing machine helps you perfect your form with a rowing motion that simulates rowing in the water. The BodyTrac Glider 1050 isn’t ideal for people that like rowing with high resistance, but if you prefer a low-to-medium resistance, you can’t go wrong with this machine. Although the BodyTrac Glider takes up a decent amount of space when the arms are out, you can fold them in for compact storage, making it easy to find room for it in your home.

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.


Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.