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Quietest Rowing Machines of 2023: Train in Silence!

Rowing machines aren't just favored by skilled rowers. The machine provides a full-body workout for all of the major muscle groups for anyone, regardless of ability or experience.

Rowing machines do come with one drawback – they are renowned for being loud. While this isn't an issue in a busy gym, in these days of multiple-occupancy and apartment dwelling, we need to consider noise-nuisance.

Thankfully, modern technology has advanced, many models available these days are virtually silent with no negative effect on their power and performance.

The Quiet Rowing Machines

WaterRower Blanc Rowing Machine
Concept2 rowing machine
Mr Captain Rowing Machine

1. WaterRower Blanc Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor

Water Rower has considered the comfort of all of its customers. The seat, soft-grip handles, and adjustable footrests all prove this. With its exceptional load capacity of 1000lbs, it is the ideal for people of all shapes, sizes, and experience levels.

For the novice or accomplished rower, it is the perfect piece of equipment to strengthen the body, burn calories, and raise metabolism.

It is powered by water resistance, which, in turn, is powered by the rower. The harder you row, the faster you move, and conversely, slower movement is the result of easier rowing.

Whatever your skill level, ability, or work ethic, the water rower provides a high-intensity, low-impact cardiovascular workout that works up to 84% of the body's muscles.

The Water Rower Blanc is supplied with an S4 monitor. It has a backlit, digital display that includes speed, intensity, stroke rate, calories burnt, and also supports wireless connectivity to an optional sensor to monitor heart rate. It tracks progress results and stores lifetime metrics such as meters, miles, and hours rowed.

With both beginner and advanced training programs preset, the S4 helps all abilities, shapes, and sizes to achieve their fitness goals.

The rowing experience is incredibly realistic. Not only does the WaterFlywheel behave just as lake water does, it also emits a gentle swishing sound with each long, smooth stroke.

That is virtually the only sound that it creates, quiet enough to watch TV or to join in an interactive class as you row.

The Water Rower assembles easily, has caster wheels for maneuvering, and stores upright for areas with limited space.

It provides a stable, total body self-paced workout to suit the rider and their ability.

2. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine 

Regular gym rowers will have undoubtedly used the Concept2 at some point. If your rowing preference is with air resistance, then it is difficult to imagine that any machine could rival the Model D.

Straight from the box, it is easy to see that this is an impressive machine; sleek design, high-quality materials, and attention to detail.

It requires little assembly; 8-screws, a fixing tool, and photographic instructions ensure it is box-to-built in 20-minutes or less.

The long rail is ideal for taller users and the comfortable seat and adjustable footrests accommodate rowers of all ages ad sizes; weight capacity is 500lbs. The ergonomic design makes the handle comfortable to grip whether your workout lasts 5-minutes or 50-minutes.

The durable chain-driven mechanism of the Concept2 combines with air resistance to provide a smooth and whisper-quiet ride; it instantly responds to every stroke. The air chamber keeps the air moving in its vicinity, giving the user regular blasts of cooling air.

There are 10-damper levels, dialing up through the levels increases the resistance for a tougher workout.

With each Concept2 rowing machine comes a Performance Monitor 5. It is easy to use, loaded with multiple preset workouts, and has wireless connectivity to link you to multiple fitness apps for online challenges and rankings.

It tracks progress and displays vital training metrics including meters, pace, watts, and calories burnt. The integrated USB port enables the user to save all data to a flash drive.

Concept2 email customers their workout of the day, but if that isn't for you, just hop on the machine and row.

The Model D needs 9ft x 4ft of operating space, but nowhere near as much storage space. A simple release switch unclips the seating area and the 2-pieces become much more space-conserving. Reassembly takes moments.

For a cardio-vascular, total body workout, the Concept2 is rarely beaten. It doesn't rumble, every pull is equally as smooth as the last, and for a air resistance based rowing machine, it's relatively quiet.

3. Mr. Captain Rowing Machine

The Mr. Captain rowing machine is available in oak or red walnut, it is such an attractive machine that it blends beautifully with your decor.

It assembles in around 45-minutes, with relative ease; has dolly wheels for easy transportation, and, if you're not lucky enough to have a home gym, it stores vertically if space is limited.

It has a fiber conveyor belt that powers the water-resistance wheel. Each pull releases a soothing, swooshing noise, akin to rowing on a lake. It has a more realistic feel than some of its metal counterparts, the rower gains a sense of their oars being dipped in water.

Filling the wheel isn't as troublesome as on some other brands. The Mr. Captain rowing machine has an electric pump that fills it with very little effort. The water tank is of polyvinyl ester construction that is both shock and oxidation proof. Using distilled water and purification tablets keep the tank cleaner for longer.

The fully-customizable Smart Electronic Monitor has 3-preset modes; Manual, Interval Custom, and Target: Opening up a world of exercise and joint health to users of all abilities. It is perfect for home use to complement training undertaken at the gym.

The monitor has Bluetooth connectivity to expand its capabilities.

The seat action is very smooth, assisted by the active recoil system. It is padded and ergonomically designed for a comfortable ride. The footrests are fully adjustable for both height and width, enabling the rower full accessibility regardless of shoe size or footwear.

The long twin-rail system has the capacity for 47" from the stirrup to the back rail, ensuring it is compatible with taller riders. It has a 320lb weight capacity so almost all body sizes are catered for.

Varying resistance levels are achieved by rowing power. For greater resistance, row harder and faster. However, adjusting the water level in the 4-gallon tank impacts water resistance; more water increases resistance.

This is a fantastic machine for rowers of all abilities; it is smooth, quiet, and is perfect for limited spaces.

If you like to row outdoors in a backyard or balcony, Mr. Captain's rowing machine comes with a designated cover to protect it from rain, scratches, dust, and harmful UV rays.

4. Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine

The Sunny rowing machine is a lightweight and relatively basic looking machine. That shouldn't cloud your judgment, it is durable and sturdy, even though it weighs a smidgeon over 20lbs.

With a load capacity of 220lbs, it is ideal for home workouts for those new to rowing or more experienced users of varying body types.

Assembling the rowing machine takes a few minutes, even when undertaken by a solitary person.

The seat is wide and cushioned, it takes care of those tailbone issues that seasoned rowers will understand. The handlebar is also cushioned for superb grip.

Unlike many other models, the Sunny rowing machine doesn't rely on a pull cord, water, or flywheel system, and has no chains. Instead, the back and forth motion of the handles attached to the hydraulic pump offers resistance. The pedals are adjustable and have grips on their base and at the heel. It is this non-slip design that keeps the momentum going for the duration of a workout.

The system produces no sound. The Sunny rowing machine is best for people where noise nuisance is an issue.

The Sunny Health rowing machine relies on hydraulic power for resistance. The small cylinder houses 12-varying resistance levels; with the twist of a dial, it is easy to increase or decrease the level.

The incline of the center rail adds a further dimension to the low-impact cardiovascular exercise. The rower achieves a full-body workout, with particular attention paid to joint mobility; your hips, knees, elbows, and shoulders will thank you.

The onboard digital display monitor is ideally situated for keeping track of times, splits, burnt calories, and distances, even as you row.

You can use it to set times and goals to aid progress and build stamina.

The compact design and lightweight of the rowing machine from Sunny Health belie its actual power.

It is robust and tough, suits multiple family members with zero adjustments, and is small enough to store in a cupboard. It is surprisingly affordable and ideal for that first foray into home fitness training.

5. MaxKare Rowing Machine Air Rower

The MaxKare rowing machine is very sturdy as the mainframe is made from solid steel. It weighs 50.7lbs once assembled, folds down for space-efficient storage, and has transportation wheels to make moving it a simple task.

The MaxKare accommodates rowers of up to 6'2" tall and is equally suitable for shorter people. With a maximum weight capacity of 220lbs.

There are 12-resistance settings achieved via a tension adjuster dial. Each rower can find their level and strive to increase and improve their ability over time. The ride is smooth and comfortable, complemented by the extra-wide saddle.

The electronic LCD monitor tracks and displays speed, time, total time, stroke count, and calories burnt. Directly above the monitor is a secure shelf on which fits your iPad or similar device. Watch your favorite movie or music videos as you train. Alternatively, join an online fitness class, similar to the spin classed used by indoor bike enthusiasts.

The MaxKare machine is excellent for home use, suiting both beginners and intermediate rowers. It is robust and durable, emits little noise, and folds for simple storage.

What to Look for in a Quiet Rowing Machine

quiet rowing machine

Rowing machines provide an excellent cardiovascular workout; they increase the work and rate of the heart and lungs.

They recreate the feeling of oars gliding through the water, generating resistance as you row faster.

Resistance exercise causes skeletal muscles to contract, resulting in increased muscular mass, strength, endurance, and tone.

There are multiple defining factors involved when choosing a rowing machine.

Type of Resistance


concept2 air resistance

Fan-like fins on a flywheel generate resistance as the user pulls the 'oar.' The vented flywheel adjusts resistance levels as the amount of passing air increases and decreases. As the user rows harder and faster, it becomes more difficult to pull the handlebar as the tension increases.


Water resistance most closely assimilates the feel and sound of outdoor rowing. Resistance for the machine and the rower generates by paddles dragging and rotating a tank of water. The faster you row, the more resistance you create.


Hydraulic piston cylinders that are attached to the handlebar of a rowing machine generate resistance as the user recreates the back and forth rowing motion.


Favored by many at-home exercises as the electromagnets emit no noise. Although it doesn't recreate the real-feel of outdoor rowing – resistance isn't affected by the power or speed that the rower employs – their portability and silent operation make them very popular.


If space is at a premium you should consider a lightweight, foldable model. Wooden, water resistance rowing machines tend to be heavier, due to the weight of the water.

However, transportation wheels and thoughtfully-designed handles make lifting them easy. They store vertically, take up little space, and make an attractive addition to any decor.

Also consider the machine's maximum load capacity. Due to the nature of a rowing machine, the low-impact exercise doesn't put excessive demand on joints, not at low resistance anyhow. They are the ideal piece of fitness equipment for very overweight people to begin their journey to health and fitness.

The rowing machines above have capacities between 220lbs – 1000lbs.


concept2 PM5

If being able to track metrics like distance, speed, or calories burned are important to you several come equipped with their own performance monitor. At a base level, they have basic timers, stroke count, distance, and calories burned.

Data storage to track progress and stamina, heart rate monitors, real-time competition are some of the available options.

Noise Output

The majority of noise emitted by a rowing machine is determined by the resistance type that it employs. Air and water resistance models tend to be louder, although not intolerably so.

Magnetic resistance models are the quietest.

Further noise comes from poorly assembled machines and rails that squeak during use. A full maintenance check, tightening of all joints, and a drop of lubricating oil should sort these engineering shortcomings.

Positioning your rowing machine on a rubber mat or carpeted area also absorbs any errant sounds caused by structure-borne sound.


Look for wide seats, with gel or padding to protect your tailbone, strong handles with non-slip grips, and pedals that adjust to accommodate all shoe sizes.

Final Thoughts

Rowing machines target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the upper, middle, and lower lumbar. They aid muscle toning, strength, balance, and posture.

It's important to have realistic expectations when it comes to the noise output of a rowing machine. Hydraulic models are the quietest, however they can tend to be lacking in terms of features and functionality.

Clayton Dillon
Clayton, like millions of people, suffers from issues related to sleep. After decades of poor sleep and hundreds of hours of independent research, he decided to create a resource and share his findings with fellow snorers.
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