WaterRower VS Concept2: Water VS Air, which one is better?

WaterRower VS Concept 2

WaterRower and Concept2 are the two most popular rowing machines of this decade, and this creates confusion among the consumers, which one to pick and why it is better than the other?

That is why we are making this detailed Air vs Water Rower comparison. These machines are best in their segments but they have some differences and today we are going to discuss that in our article on Concept2 vs WaterRower.

Water Rowers has higher user weight capacity, and it is much quieter as compared to the air rowers, it requires less maintenance, and are easy to assemble. These are perfect for home users, and it is long-lasting workout machine. But it is costly than the Concept2. Whereas Concept 2 has more accurate workout data, it comes with a lightweight body and is easy to store, and it has more resistance levels than the Water Rower, and it is made for professional athletes and continuous use, like in gyms and fitness centers.

Rowing is an amazing piece of exercise, as it can help you in staying fit and active, and you don’t need to go anywhere, you can stay fit while staying at your home. You can do a complete body workout with the rowing machine, as it involves all kinds of muscles to do the rowing.

So, what is the major difference between the WaterRower and Concept2? The first and most visible difference between these two is the fluid that they use, one uses water for resistance and one uses the air.

So, which one is better among the two? It depends on many factors like price, noise levels, the weight of the rowing machine, etc. So, sit back and let’s discuss each of the things in detail in our article of WaterRower versus Concept 2.

BodyMade up of Wood, and it also comes in the metal body as well if you want. It is heavier. It has a greater user weight capacity. It can easily be folded up. It is more durable than the Concept2.Made up of metal alloys. It is lightweight. It has a lower weight capacity. It can easily separate into two parts for easy storing. Because of light bodyweight it is less durable than WaterRower.
Resistance and MonitorUses Water as a fluid to create resistance, you can add more water to increase the resistance. WaterRower’s monitor is not so accurate because it is using water as a medium which makes it difficult to read the data accurately.Uses air to create resistance and you can change the resistance level with the help of a damper. Concept2’s monitor is more accurate and has many extra features.
ComfortWaterRower is more comfortable and creates soothing and less noise than the Concept2. It is designed for home users.It creates a lot of whooshing noise caused by air flowing through the flywheel. It is built for pro athletes and for GYMs.
MaintenanceWaterRower requires only water change as a maintenance, and nothing more.Concept2 requires a lot of regular maintenance like chain cleaning and oiling at very regular intervals.
PriceWaterRower is costly than the Concept2.Concept2 comes in many models but it is cheaper than the WaterRower.
Warranty5 years on frame, 3 years on components5 year on frame, 2 years on parts


The first thing of difference between the WaterRower or Concept 2 is the body, the water rower body is made up of mostly wood, and the body of the Concept 2 or any other air resistance rowing machine is made up of some kind of metal or alloy. 

Now it’s all up to on user, which he or she likes to buy, as the WaterRower made up of wood is quite heavy than the Concept2 Air rowing machine.

Fact: Wood absorbs the sound and vibrations better than metal, that means water rower creates less noise and vibrations than the Concept 2.

And the WaterRower can easily be folded up and Concept2 also easily folds up and you can even separate the Concept2 into two parts to store in your cabinet as well. But WaterRower becomes smaller than Concept2 after folding, which makes it the winner here.

If you ask us which one is sturdy and strong, then we will say that both the machines are strong and can easily last long without giving you any issues. Water Rower comes in very different colors and materials as well, but Concept2 only comes in metal bodies.

And WaterRower has a user weight capacity of around 1000 lbs. and Concept2 has around 600-800 lbs. (Winner: WaterRower)


The second most important thing in discussing the difference between the Water Rower or Concept 2 is the resistance. All kinds of rowing machines use some kind of fluid or medium to create resistance.

And in case of Water Rower, the resistance is created by the drag created by Water (yeah you guessed it right), and in case of Concept 2, the medium is Air. Both the mediums are great, but there are some advantages and some disadvantages.

Like in the case of Water Rower, it uses water to create resistance, but let me clear one thing here, adding more water doesn’t mean increasing the resistance level, adding more water only increases the weight of the rowing machine. 

WaterRower VS Concept2
CC: Amazon

If you want to increase the resistance of the rowing machine, then you can do that by increasing the rowing speed, as you row faster the resistance also increases automatically.

Water rowing is quieter and smoother than air resistance, if you want your rowing to be quiet so that no one will be disturbed by the noise, then you can go with the Water Rower.

You can add or remove the water from the water rowing machine, which is situated at the front part of the machine, and it also comes with instructions on how much water you need to add or remove according to the weight and height of the user.

Adding more water, only means you are pushing more water, yeah, it makes the workout more intense but you are not increasing the resistance, you are just increasing the weight of water that need to move.

WaterRower VS Concept2
CC: Amazon

But in case of any air rower or Concept2, the medium or fluid that you are going to move is air. And you can control the quantity of air flowing through the blades with the help of a damper. But, if you want to increase the resistance, you can increase the resistance by increasing the rowing speed.

With the help of the damper, you can only control the amount of air flowing through the flywheel, not the resistance. But the Air Rower creates a whooshing noise while working out, which is louder than of WaterRower, you can hear this sound from another room as well.

If you don’t have any issues with this sound then you can go with the Concept2. (Winner: Concept2, as it has easy to change resistance settings and it is built for professional athletes and for GYMs.)


The Concept2 and WaterRower both come with a monitor that shows the stats of your workout like RPM, strokes per minute, heart rate, time, distance, intensity. But the Concept2 or Air Rower shows more accurate stats than the WaterRower. 

We are not saying that WaterRower shows inaccurate stats, but because of water as a medium, it is difficult for the CPU to read the RPMs and other stats, so we say that you can go with air rower if you need more accurate data. And that is why professional players and athletes.


If you are also looking for comfort, then I’ll say to go with the WaterRower as it is built for home users, but the air rower or Concept2 rowers, these are not that much comfortable as compared to the WaterRowers.

We already told you that WaterRowers creates a sound that may sound soothing for some people, but it is much quieter than the Concept2. But Concept2 makes a whooshing noise while rowing which is quite disturbing and loud than the WaterRower.

And the seats of the Concept2 is not that much comfortable, I read this from the reviews of Concept2. So, we will recommend you to go with the WaterRower, if you are looking for comfort. (Winner: Concept2)


Concept 2 comes with nickel-plated chains that need regular oiling and cleaning. You have to clean and oil them after every month of use.

But in the case of WaterRower, it doesn’t work on-chain, but you need to replace the water of its tank after some time, and if you don’t do that then the water can get bacteria.

Concept2 requires small maintenance after some months but WaterRower needs less maintenance, but after years you need to change the tank of the WaterRower, as it can crack after years of usage.

Both of them require maintenance, we recommend, if you need a rowing machine for your house, then go for WaterRower, and if you don’t have much budget and you know how to use tools and how to clean chains then go for Concept2. (Winner: WaterRower)

Concept 2 vs WaterRower

We explain all the essential things in our WaterRower VS Concept2 article, but just for a revision, we are going to make a summary of the features and issues of both the products. So that you will get an idea about all the things about the WaterRower VS Concept2 comparison.

WaterRower Features:

  • WaterRower has a weight capacity of 1000 lbs.
  • WaterRower is made up of mostly wood, which also helps in absorbing the noise and vibrations.
  • WaterRower comes in many variants and materials.
  • WaterRower creates a soothing sound while rower and it is quieter than the Concept2.
  • WaterRower requires less maintenance and it is easy to assemble.
  • WaterRower can easily be folded up and you can store it anywhere.
  • WaterRower is perfect for home use.
  • WaterRower is a long-lasting exercise machine.
  • WaterRower comes with three years for parts and 5 years for the frame.

Issues with WaterRower:

  • WaterRower is not built for pro-level athletes, and for extensive use.
  • WaterRower is costly than the Concept2.
  • WaterRower needs regular water change maintenance.

Concept2 Features:

  • Concept2 is an affordable rowing machine.
  • Concept2 has a better and more accurate monitor to show data and information.
  • Concept2 is lightweight and can separate into two parts for easy storing.
  • Concept2 is best for intense rowing and is used by professional athletes as well.
  • Concept2 is one of the best selling rowing machines.
  • Concept2 is easy in terms of changing the resistance settings.

Issues with Concept2:

  • Concept2 creates more noise than WaterRower.
  • Concept2 requires more maintenance.

Here we are going to end our comparison of WaterRower vs Concept2. But if you ask us which one is best, than both the rowing machines are best in their class, but if you want something that creates less noise, and looks better than you can go with the WaterRower.

And if you don’t have the budget for the WaterRower then Concept2 is also an amazing rowing machine.

We made a complete comparison between the two models of the Concept2 Model D and Model E, you can also read that as well. Concept2 is more for professional people rather than normal user or home user. Both the machines are absolutely great. Water Rower also comes in many varieties, I’ll try to add them in this article.

We also covered reviews of some of the famous Air Rowers like Concept 2, you can read their reviews as well if you want. 

  1. ProForm 440R Rower Review: Is its popularity justified?
  2. Proform 550R Rower Review: Worth UPGRADE or PURCHASE?

And if you don’t have a higher budget for rowing machine then we also covered Best Rowing Machine under 500 Dollars. You can also read that as well, there we covered all of the best Rowing machines that comes under $500.

I hope our detailed Concept 2 vs WaterRower comparison answers your question of Should I get Water Rower vs Concept 2? If you have any doubts or questions related to the WaterRower versus Concept 2 comparison, you can comment down below and we are happy to answer all your questions.

Related Questions:

Which is better Air rower or WaterRower? It depends on the user’s need, if you need a silent rowing machine then the Water Rower is for you, but if you need a smooth rowing machine then go with the Air Rower. There are many other factors as well, you can read all the differences in our article.

Should I get Concept 2 or WaterRower? Concept 2 is lighter but creates lots of noise while rowing and it is more smooth, but the WaterRower is silent and heavier, and premium looking, Concept 2 is more affordable, but it needs more maintenance than the Water Rower.

Which type of rowing machine is best? For Smooth rowing experience go with air rowers, but they create lots of noise while rowing, and for better looks and the silent operation go with WaterRower.

What is the best type of indoor rowing machine? For Indoors, you need a silent rowing machine, then water rower is for you, and if you don’t have much budget then go with concept 2 as it is more affordable but creates lots of noise.

What is the difference between a water rower and air rower? The basic difference between a water rower and an air rower is the fluid, the water rower uses water and air rower uses air for rowing and the other difference is that they create different sounds of rowing, water rower creates a soothing sound which is quieter than the sound created by the air rower, the air rower creates a whooshing sound, which is quite loud.

Is the WaterRower any good? Yeah, WaterRower creates less noise, and is made up of wood that helps in absorbing the noise and vibrations, and they are more durable and water rower also looks good. It is best for home users.

Are water rowers better than magnetic? In some ways, water rower creates more noise than the magnetic ones, but it is more durable and looks good at home. And it is simple to use as compared to the magnetic ones, and the rowing in water rower is quite smooth and natural as compared to the magnetic ones.

Why do rowing machines have water in them? Water Rowers use water as a fluid or medium, the mass or weight of water creates resistance or drag when you pull the handle connected to it. It is a very good medium for rowing as it mimics the natural rowing motion.

What muscles does rowing work? Rowing uses mostly all kinds of major muscles like hamstrings, calves, glutes, abs, back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, lats and deltoids (shoulders).

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