For renters, new parents, and anyone with roommates, noise can be a problem. If you fall into one of these groups, you’re most likely on the hunt for quiet home exercise equipment. When choosing the quietest rowing machines, there are several factors to consider. The purpose of this guide is to walk you through the process and introduce you to the quietest rowers currently available.
Generally, you’ll want to skip over bargain brands when shopping for fitness equipment, but that doesn’t limit you to premium equipment. There are plenty of affordable options along with higher-end equipment to suit all budgets. First, let’s take a look at the rowers to get an idea of the key specs for each.
This way, you’ll be able to match your available space and needs to the correct rower(s). After the brief introduction, we’ll go over how to choose a quiet rower before moving to the reviews of each rower listed below.
Top 5 Quietest Rowers
How to Choose a Quiet Rower
Below, I summarize the most important factors to consider when choosing your new rower:
- Resistance Type – Generally, there are three primary types of rowers. Those are magnetic, air, and water. These types refer to the type of resistance. Since you’re looking for the quietest rowing machine, magnetic models are your best bet. Think of it this way, an air rower sounds like a fan blowing, while a water rower makes a swishing sound. While pleasant to most ears, the swishing sound of water is louder than a magnetic rower. Most magnetic rowers have no touching parts, which is the main reason they offer near-silent operation.
- Capacities – When choosing a rower, it’s important to check the stated weight capacities and height recommendations. By taking this step, you ensure that you don’t have to go through an annoying return process. You might also be interested in my guide to choosing the best rowing machine with 350 lb weight capacity if you didn’t see one that suits your needs above.
- Dimensions – For renters and people with limited space, it’s wise to check the footprint of the machine to ensure you have enough room. Most of the models in this guide are folding, making them good choices for people who are low on space.
- Resistance – Resistance is an important consideration based on your skill level. Advanced rowers will want to opt for premium equipment that offers higher levels of resistance. Meanwhile, beginner and intermediate rowers will find that all of the models in this guide offer enough resistance for the essential rowing workouts.
- Warranty – Finally, warranty information is an important aspect when investing in any piece of exercises equipment. While most companies offer 1-year warranties or longer, you may also want to choose an extended warranty at the time of purchase.
Ultimately, those are the most important considerations when choosing a quiet rower.
Reviews: Quietest Rowing Machines
Now, I share reviews of each model listed in the chart above.
#1) Fitness Reality 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower
Fitness Reality has carved out a nice little niche for itself in the budget exercise equipment space. Thus, the company manufacturers reliable home exercise equipment for an affordable price. Currently, the 1000 PLUS model is not only one of the quietest rowers available, but it also offers great value for the money. Comparatively, it costs much less than some of the more well-known brands.
With fourteen levels of resistance, users of all skill levels will find that this machine challenges them. Next, the Nylon Belt Drive System was specifically designed for quiet operation. Consequently, you’ll have no trouble with reading, watching TV, or following fitness apps while you work out. And speaking of fitness apps, this rower is Bluetooth-enabled with connectivity to the MyCloudFitness app.
With the 30-day free trial, you’ll be able to decide if it’s worth the monthly cost. After that, it’s important to note that the machine is foldable, features a 3.5″ LCD display, and it has a phone/tablet holder. Finally, the only drawback is the max recommended user weight of 250 lbs is lower than the following models.
- Bluetooth connectivity to sync with the MyCloudFitness app
- Quiet enough to watch TV while you work out
- Easy to assemble with clear instructions
- Light enough to move easily
- Folding design for storage
- Low max user weight
- Advanced rowers may desire more resistance
- The console could track more accurately
#2) Xterra Fitness ERG220 Magnetic Rower
Now let’s take a step up the quality ladder to Xterra Fitness. Comparatively, Xterra falls in the mid-range home cardio equipment category, and the ERG220 is the best magnetic rower offered by Xterra. Therefore, this rower also happens to be one of the quietest since it does incorporate magnetic resistance.
Firstly, the sturdy aluminum rails make for a smooth experience for users up to 300 lbs. For this reason, people who weigh more than 250 lbs will want to look here before the Fitness Reality model above. Secondly, the raised seat height offered by the ERG220 makes it a good choice for seniors and anyone who prefers a machine that’s easier to mount/dismount.
Third, the folding frame makes the ERG220 a good rowing machine for a small apartment. Beyond those considerations, it’s important to note that this model does not have Bluetooth. Instead, it offers a built-in LCD console that tracks your stats. Overall, the ERG220 rower finds a good balance between value and performance.
- Higher weight capacity than the Fitness Reality 1000 PLUS
- Raised seat height for easier mounting/dismounting
- Quick-folding design
- Not complicated to put together
- A noticeable difference between resistance levels
- More resistance than the 1000 PLUS
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Very basic console
- Advanced rowers may still desire more resistance
#3) Teeter Power10 Elliptical Rower
Next is one of the quietest rowing machines that’s a great choice for seniors and anyone who desires a rower/elliptical hybrid. Firstly, Teeter designed this rower with quietness in mind. Its quiet magnetic resistance system eliminates friction and touching parts for a smooth, quiet rowing experience.
Secondly, this type of hybrid cardio machine is inherently easier to mount. In other words, you’ll never need to worry about bending down or lifting yourself up from ground level when you finish. Plus, the handlebars ensure that you get your entire body involved during each workout.
Third, this machine is perfect for people who desire a low-impact workout that’s extra easy on their joints. The key ingredient is the bi-directional resistance system that allows you to easily switch between pushing and pulling during your workout. With this system, you’re able to target specific muscle groups without interruption.
A couple of final highlights are the easy-to-reach resistance knob, adjustable stroke length, and the large cushioned bench seat. Overall, the Teeter Power10 is built for comfort without sacrificing performance.
- Silent magnetic resistance system eliminates friction and touching parts
- No need to bend down to mount the machine
- Forward and backward movements
- Adjustable stroke length
- The resistance knob is always within reach
- Transportation wheels for storing it in an upright position
- You may feel that it hits the upper body harder than the legs
- It’s heavier than other rowers in this guide
- No brightness settings on the console
- Assembly may take longer than other models
#4) Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5622 Dual Function Magnetic Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness is another trustworthy manufacturer of affordable home exercise equipment. Currently, of the rowers offered by Sunny Health, model SF-RW5622 is the quietest. As mentioned earlier, magnetic rowers are inherently quieter than other types of resistance. Comparatively, this machine is very similar to Fitness Reality’s 1000 PLUS, however, it does offer a higher capacity of 275 lbs.
Having said that, expect the same resistance level from this machine. While beginner and intermediate rowers will be just fine, advanced rowers may desire more oomph. Next, an interesting feature of this machine is that it offers more than just rowing. You’ll find that by standing on the foot plates, you’re able to work your biceps, back, and triceps with various workouts.
Beyond those considerations, this dual-function rower is foldable and offers a basic console for fitness stat tracking. Lastly, Sunny Health & Fitness offers the longest warranty of the magnetic models in this guide.
- Dual-function to work out your arms and back with several workouts
- Space-saving folding design
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Easy assembly (arrives partially assembled)
- Longer warranty
- Advanced rowers may want more resistance
- You may not notice much difference between resistance levels
- Users with large feet may desire more velcro on the foot straps
#5) Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine With PM5 Performance Monitor
Capping off this list is the only air rower included in this guide. Why? Because Concept2 manufactures one of the best rowing machines available. Because of this, you know you’re getting a quality machine when you invest in a Concept2 rower. The main reason I chose this rower is that it’s the quietest air rower you’ll find. Plus, it offers enough resistance for all skill levels.
Since advanced rowers may feel let down by magnetic rowers, a Concept2 rower is a perfect solution. Not only is it quiet, but it brings gym-quality performance to the table. In other words, if you want a quiet rower that you can use daily for years to come, this is the one. You’ll find that as you progress up the ladder, the Model D always offers enough resistance to challenge you.
With that being said, the sound of the air moving while you row does make this machine somewhat louder than the preceding models. Also, Concept2 rowers are longer than your average rower. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you have enough space to house it.
- Enough resistance to challenge rowers of all skill levels
- The highest weight capacity
- Lightweight and easy to move
- A one-time investment
- The same machine used in gyms
- Trustworthy warranty terms
- The long rail makes it a good choice for tall people
- A larger footprint
- Inherently louder than a magnetic rower
- The seat could be softer
- Does not fold
When shopping for the quietest rowing machine, magnetic models are always your best bet. However, advanced rowers are more likely to run into issues than beginner and intermediate rowers. You’ll find that most of the complaints about magnetic rowers are about the max resistance. Because of this, I did include the Concept2 Model D as an option for advanced rowers.
Unfortunately, air rowers and water rowers provide more resistance than magnetic and hydraulic rowers. For people who are on the hunt for a quiet rower, air and water rowers might be out of the question. Regardless of which type of rower you choose, always remember to check the dimensions and capacities to ensure you have enough space.
By taking those simple steps, you’re highly unlikely to run into any issues after purchase. Finally, the brands in this guide are all trustworthy manufacturers of home fitness equipment. You may find that alternate models by the same brands better suit your needs.