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Is the Hydrow smart rower worth it? What to know before you buy

Is the Hydrow rower right for you? Here's what you need to know

The home fitness industry has exploded over the past few years, and many are choosing to invest in Peloton exercise bikes, treadmills and fitness subscription apps as opposed to returning to their gyms. If you're still searching for a workout machine that you won't dread hopping on regularly, Hydrow might be right for you. Keep reading to learn more about this immersive new rowing machine. 

Top products in this article: 

Hydrow Pro Rower, $2,045 (reduced from $2,495)

Hydrow Wave Rower, $1,545 (reduced from $1,695)

What is a Hydrow rowing machine? 

Is a hydrow machine worth it

Hydrow rowing machines are designed with the goal of -- per the brand -- "making each stroke feel like you're out on the water." The company has two rowing machines, the Hydrow Rower and the Hydrow Wave. Both are designed with patented electromagnetic drag technology that helps the rower feel like they're really in a boat.

The newest addition to the Hydrow rower family, the Hydrow Wave, was created for small spaces but still boasts the immersive Hydrow design. It's also significantly cheaper.

Along with the machine itself -- and various optional accessories -- you'll need a subscription to Hydrow's virtual fitness platform. The subscription costs $44 monthly, but you also have the option of bundling a year-long subscription when you buy a Hydrow rowing machine.

Hydrow offers three ways to experience your rowing workout: live sessions, on-demand courses and distance-rowing challenges. A Hydrow subscription also includes yoga, Pilates, strength training, mobility and stretching workouts. Hydrow has also added circuit training for all users. The workout combines strength training using a mix of dumbbells and body weight, with short periods of rowing mixed in.

Is the Hydrow rowing machine worth it?

A workout on a rowing machine -- also commonly known as ergometers or ergs -- works both your upper and lower body simultaneously. According to Hydrow, a workout on one of their rowing machines can engage 86% of major muscle groups while still remaining relatively low-impact. So whether you're out on the water or on a Hydrow rowing machine, rowing can be a total-body workout and great cardio. 

Hydrow sets itself apart from other old-school rowing machines with its innovative electromagnetic drag technology, which helps you feel like you're really out on the water. Hydrow's fitness platform also offers over 5,000 live and on-demand classes, so if you're worried about your workout getting stale, Hydrow has you covered.

"The interactive professional athletes feel like friends that are encouraging me on every row," one reviewer raved. "I feel great after every workout and look forward to the next."

"I've been rowing on various machines for years at gyms, this one is solid and constructed very well," another reviewer wrote. "I love how quiet it is and how the pull feels. The screen is large and the content is great to keep you motivated."

Hydrow rowing machines

Shop the Hydrow Rower, Hydrow Wave and various Hydrow accessories below. 

Hydrow Rower

Hydrow Rowing Machine

The Hydrow rowing machine features an adjustable 22-inch HD screen, an aluminum and steel frame and a customizable footbed. The Hydrow Pro Rower is designed to accommodate individuals with an inseam of up to 36 inches and a weight of up to 375 pounds. 

For a limited time, shoppers can save up to $660 on the Hydrow Pro Rower with a $450 discount on the rower itself and two free gifts: an On The Mat Kit and a Polar heart rate monitor, valued at $210 combined.

Hydrow Pro Rower, $2,045 (reduced from S2,495)

Hydrow Wave rowing machine

Hydrow Wave rowing machine
Best Buy

The Hydrow Rower's small-space-suitable successor features a 16-inch HD screen, stainless steel seat track, durable polymer frame and an adjustable footbed. Despite its smaller size, the Hydrow Wave is also designed to accommodate individuals with an inseam of up to 36 inches and a weight of up to 375 pounds.

Right now, you can save up to $360 on the Hydrow Wave Rower with a $150 discount on the rower itself and two free gifts: an On The Mat Kit and a Polar Heart Rate Monitor, valued at $210 combined.

Hydrow Wave rowing machine, $1,545 (reduced from $1,695)

Hydrow Vista rowing machine


Coming soon, the Hydrow Vista rower features a 27-inch curved QHD screen that rotates to enhance the immersive experience, extending even to workouts off the rower. Available now for preorder at a price of $3,995, it is expected to ship in winter 2024-2025.

Pre-order the Hydro Vista rowing machine $3,995

Hydrow Rower upright storage kit

Hydrow upright storage kit
Best Buy

This storage kit includes a bracket, strap and detailed installation guide, so you can store your Hydrow Rower in a space-saving, upright position.

Hydrow upright storage kit, $80

Hydrow Wave vertical anchor 

Hydrow Wave vertical anchor

Safely store your Hydrow Wave rowing machine with the help of this vertical wall anchor (not compatible with the Hydrow Rower).

Hydrow Wave vertical anchor, $190

Hydrow On The Mat workout kit

Hydrow On The Mat workout kit

This multifunctional workout kit includes a multi-use workout mat, two yoga blocks, two short resistance bands, two long resistance bands and three resistance bands with handles. It has everything you'll need to take advantage of Hydrow's range of non-rowing workouts.

Hydrow On The Mat workout kit, $120 

The best Hydrow alternatives

Looking to start rowing but not sold on Hydrow? Check out these other rowing machine options from NordicTrack, Echelon and more. 

NordicTrack smart rower

NordicTrack Smart Rower

The NordicTrack smart rower features an adjustable 22-inch HD touchscreen, is equipped with 26 resistance levels and can be folded in half for compact and easy storage. The NordicTrack smart rower comes with a 30-day free membership to iFIT -- a fitness subscription platform offering live and on-demand workouts. This rowing machine has a 250-pound weight limit.

NordicTrack smart rower, $884 (reduced from $1,600)

Echelon smart rowing machine

Echelon smart rowing machine

Also featuring a 22-inch rotating HD screen, the Echelon smart rowing machine boasts an easy-glide seat, ergonomically designed handlebars and 32 resistance levels. The machine folds up for easy storage and includes a 30-day free membership to Echelon Premier -- a subscription offering over 3,000 live and on-demand fitness classes.

Echelon smart rowing machine, $1,200 (reduced from $1,600)

Sunny Health and Fitness magnetic rowing machine

Sunny Health and Fitness magnetic rowing machine

This budget-friendly rowing machine has eight resistance levels and a monitor that displays time, count, calories and more. Designed with an extra long slide rail, this machine is a great option for taller rowers.

Sunny Health and Fitness magnetic rowing machine, $222 (reduced from $400)

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