5 Best Rowing Machine Under $500

best rowing machine under 500

Unlike the past, where most people preferred gym membership, today, more and more are switching to home gyms. Home gyms are more convenient and cost-effective than a gym membership and allow you to exercises whenever you want.

While it is up to you to decide which workout equipment to keep in your home gym, one of the most efficient workout machines that you wouldn’t want to miss in your home gym is a rowing machine.

A rowing machine is a full-body workout machine that mimics what it feels like to row a boat. This exercise machine allows you to replicate the motions of the boat while staying stationary. It improves muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance by engaging all major muscle groups, including hamstring, back, quads, glutes, lats, traps, biceps, and abdominal muscles. This home workout machine is comfortable, easy to use, and offers a full-body workout.

But with hundreds of row machines on the market, finding the right home rowing machine that suits your needs can be quite challenging, especially if you are buying for the first time. Fortunately, you have landed at the right place.

We have explored hundreds of rowing machine and compiled a list of 5 best rowing machines under $500.

Let’s have a look on the comparison table we have created for you, to get a quick idea about our top recommendations.

At a Glance: Best Rowing Machine under $500 of 2023

Some of the things we considered when compiling our list include: the type of resistance offered, workout options available, cost, customer reviews and ratings, brand reputation, adjustability, and durability.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5713
(Editor's Choice)
Merax Magnetic Rower
(Best in Budget)
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus
(Best Overall)
Stamina ATS Air Rower
(Best Air Rower)
JOROTO Magnetic PowerMagneticUpright4.5

1. Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5713 Water Rowing Machine – (Editor’s Choice)

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine

Manufactured by one of the most reputable companies in the workout industry, Sunny health and fitness water rowing machine is designed to help you burn calories, build endurance, and tone your muscles. This incredible machine can workout up to 85% of your body’s muscular system, resulting in faster calorie expenditure.

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This rowing machine is designed with high-density hydro blades that create smooth resistance during a rowing session. Its hydro blades are incredibly sturdy and can withstand multiple levels of water resistance. The flywheel is equipped with 16 blades that offer resistance, allowing you to burn calories and tone all major muscles in your body.

On the other hand, Water offers a smooth and steady rowing experience, a feature that allows you to enjoy your rowing workout. The faster you spin the flywheel, the higher the resistance it attracts. Therefore, if you want to burn more calories, all you need to do is increase your rowing power.

The screen display that is equipped with shows all details of your workout: calorie burned, distance covered, total time, heart rate, room temperature, total strokes, and much more to help you track your fitness goals. The screen display is also compatible with ANT+ heart rate technology, meaning that you can link this machine with your smartwatch or rate belt to monitor your workout effectiveness closely.

This water rowing machine is also equipped with textured and non-slip foot pads for a smooth and stable ride. The built-in Velcro straps adjust to the width of your foot for absolute comfort and stability. The adjustable floor stabilizer that it features help to keep the machine stable while performing your workouts. This means that you don’t have to worry about the machine wobbling while performing your exercise. The floor stabilizer is adjustable, a feature that allows you to level the machine perfectly with the floor.

This water rower has built-in transportation wheels that allow smooth movement of the machine from one room to another. Its frame is made of commercial-grade steel that can support a weight of up to 300lbs.

If anyone looking for a Water Rowing Machine with more bells and whistles, this could be a great option.

Key Features

  • Comes with 16 blades that provides unlimited resistance
  • Equipped with high-density non-marking rubber wheels for easy transportation
  • Offer smooth and steady workout experience
  • It has an LCD monitor that allows you to track your workout progress
  • Weight Capacity: upto 300lbs

2. Merax Magnetic Exercise Rowing Machine – (Best in Budget)

Merax Magnetic Exercise Rowing Machine

If you are looking for a comfortable, sturdy, durable, and affordable rowing machine, then no further then Merax magnetic exercise rowing machine. This magnetic rowing machine is designed to provide smooth and silent rows.

Merax magnetic exercise rowing machine has 8-levels of resistance. All you need to do to switch from one resistance level to another is adjust the tension knob. A simple twist can increase or decreases your resistance to suit your workout needs. The adjustable resistance levels that this rowing machine offers help to keep your rowing workouts fun and more challenging.

The fully padded seat that it features provides the much-needed comfort to your back and bottom, allowing you to perform your workout for an extended period without getting tired. The comfortable seat also enhances the proper flow of blood in the glutes, allowing you to complete your rowing workout for an extended time. The large strapping footplates that it features provide optimal support and comfort while performing your rowing workouts.

Merax magnetic exercise rowing machine is also equipped with an LCD monitor that displays calories burned, total time, total count, distance covered, and much more, allowing you to track your workout progress. This is important because it helps you know how you are doing and the necessary adjustments you need to make to help you achieve your fitness goals.

The built-in magnetic flywheel is super quiet, a feature that will allow you to perform your workouts without disturbing other people. The flywheel provides a smooth but defective workout experience. The 15 degree and seal rails, on the other hand, ensures a stable and efficient return of the seat. This is important because it allows you to get the most from your rowing workouts.

This magnet rowing machine is also equipped with built-in wheels that allow smooth movement from one room to another. Its foldable frame is made of heavy-duty steel that can hold a weight of up to 264 lbs.

Key Features

  • Durable (made of heavy-duty stainless steel)
  • Equipped with a large LCD that tracks you work out progress
  • Built-in wheels for easy transportation
  • Fully padded seat for comfort
  • Equipped with 8-resistance levels
  • Foldable frame for secure storage
  • Weight capacity: upto 264lbs

3. Fitness Reality 100 plus Magnetic Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality 100 plus Magnetic Rowing Machine

Fitness reality 100 plus Bluetooth magnetic rowing machine is currently one of the best-selling magnetic rowing machines in the market. Its comfort, durability, ease of use, and low noise level are some of the main features that have made this rowing machine very popular.

This magnetic rowing machine provides full-body workout by targeting 85% of your body muscles, including the shoulder, triceps, biceps, forearms, legs, thighs, and much more.

Fitness reality 100 plus is currently the only rower on the market with a built-in Bluetooth. This feature allows you to listen to your favorite music while perming your workouts. You can link this rowing machine with your android or iOS smartphone to track your workout results on the free My Cloud Fitness app. The extra-wide handlebar with texture foam provides comfortable grips while performing your workouts.

The 3.5 inch LCD that it features displays your time, distance covered, total count, scan, strokes, and calories burned, allowing you to track all your workout progress. The 14-levels dual tension that it features provide magnetic tension resistance for a fun and challenging workout. You can make your work easy or more challenging by simply adjusting the tension resistance.

The patented front stabilizers foot pads that it features provide additional stability, allowing you to perform other exercises such as bent-over rows, upright rows, curls, triceps extensions, shrugs, standing shoulder presses and much more. The countered cushion seat, on the other hand, provides support and comfort while performing your workouts.

Its frame is made of heavy-duty steel that can hold a weight capacity of up to 250lbs. The frame is also foldable, meaning that you can store in under the bed on in the corer when not in use. The adjustable rear floor stabilizer that it features helps prevent wobbling, thus allowing you to have smooth rowing experience.

Main Features

  • 14 resistance levels
  • Built-in Bluetooth smart fitness
  • Extra-wide handlebar
  • Very comfortable contoured cushion seat
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Weight Capacity: upto 250lbs

4. Stamina ATS Air Rower – (Best Air Rowing Machine)

Stamina ATS Air Rower

Fitness experts widely use stamina ATS air rower due to its ability to improve cardiovascular health, tone major muscles, and boost fat loss metabolism. If you are searching for a rowing machine that will cater to all your rowing workout needs, then Stamina ATS air rower is an excellent choice for you.

The wind resistance technology that it uses is easy to operate, and also allows a wide range of intensity. If you want to burn more calories, then all you need to do is increase your rowing strokes’ pace to increase resistance. The multi-functional monitor that it features shows your speed, calories burned, total time, and much, allowing you to monitor your workout closely.

The padded upholstered seat that it features allows you to stay comfortable and stable while performing your rowing workouts. The large footplates with adjustable nylon straps will enable the machine to fit perfectly and comfortably on your feel for a comfortable and smooth ride. Its compact folding design allows you to save space by folding the rowing machine once you are done exercising.

The durable nylon rowing stripe that it features is designed to match your workout pace regardless of the intensity. The anti-skid end caps provide much-needed stability and safety while performing your workouts. The built-in wheels allow easy transportation from one room to another.

Main Features

  • Best Air Rower
  • LCD monitor that display your metrics during a workout
  • Foldable for secure storage after a workout
  • Upholstered padded seat for comfort and support
  • Anti-skid end cap for stability and protection
  • Built-in wheel for easy transportation
  • Weight Capacity: upto 250lbs

5. JOROTO Magnetic Power Rowing Machine – (Best Overall)

JOROTO Magnetic Power Rowing Machine

JOROTO magnetic power rowing machine is ideal for people looking for a quality but affordable rowing machine. This rowing machine is one of the quietest rowing machines on the market today.

Its flywheel is designed with high-quality aluminum that makes the rowing workout smoother and super quite. When workout on this rowing machine, you can be sure that you will not disturb other people at home.

This rowing machine saves a lot of space, thanks to its incredibly compact design. Its unique design allows you to put the device in a standing position where it occupies only 0.15 square meters of space. If you want to perform rowing workouts, but you have limited workout space, this is the right rowing machine. It will help you save a lot of space. This rower is also equipped with a transportation wheel for smooth movement.

The 10-levels of adjustable magnetic resistance that it features allows you to choose a level that suits your workout plans. If you want to make your workout more challenging, all you need to do is adjust the resistance level to higher levels, and if you wish to make your workout less changing, you can adjust the knob to lower settings. The adjustable non-slip pedals that it features provide a comfortable grip for a smooth ride.

The digital monitor that it features will allow you to track your time, distance covered, calories burned, and much more to keep track of your progress. It also comes with a phone holder monitor that enables you to watch movies or listen to your favorite music while performing your workouts.

Its wide padded seat and soft handlebar provide support and comfort for a smooth workout experience. The built-in water bottle holder allows you to perform your rowing workout for an extended period without taking breaks.

Key Features

  • 10-adjustable magnetic resistance levels
  • Digital monitor that tracks your workout progress
  • Very comfortable seat and handlebar
  • Super quiet and space saver
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Weight Capacity: upto 250lbs

Type of Rowing Machines

Hydraulic Rowing Machine

Hydraulic rowing machines are not only more affordable but are also quieter. They receive their tension from the amount of fluid or air compressed with a piston or cylinder.

Despite being cheap and quitter, hydraulic rowing machines are slowly being faced out of the market because they don’t allow the user to perform natural rowing motion. It is not possible to synchronize your legs and arms at the same time while using a hydraulic rowing machine.

Magnetic Rowing Machine

This is one of the most popular types of rowing machines. Just as its name suggests, a magnetic rowing machine uses strong magnets to increase to decrease resistance. A magnetic rowing machine works by varying the distance between the spinning flywheel and a strong magnet. Pushing the magnet close to the spinning flywheel increases resistance and vice versa.

They are widely preferred because they are very quiet, require little maintenance, offer wide resistance levels, and are also more compact than other types of rowers.

Water Rowing Machines

Water rowers are entirely new in the market and use the latest rowing technology to provide a smooth and fun rowing experience. Water rowing machines give almost the same experience of rowing in the water. They are quieter, smoother, and require little maintenance.

A water rowing machine has a flywheel with blades that trigger water to create the drag, which produces resistance. Most people like water rowing machines because they create smooth and consistent resistance that closely mimics the feel of rowing on water.

Air Rowing Machine

Air rowing machines have been around for more than four decades and are among the best types of rowers on the market. Air rowing machines have flywheels that create resistance when it spins. The faster you row, the higher the resistance and vice versa. Air rowing machines offer a wide range of resistance, require little maintenance, and their resistance adjusts automatically based on your stoke rate. However, they are quite nosily compared to other types of rowing machines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is rowing machine good for seniors?

Ans: Yes, it is suitable for seniors. A rowing machine is not only ideal for strong young men and women; it is also an excellent workout machine for aging adults. The fact that it is a low impact workout machine makes it suitable for aging adults who want to build physical strength, enhance mineral bone density, and stimulate bone growth. Rowing machines are also equipped with fantastic safety and comfort features such as padded seat, stabilizers, and much more that provides extra comfort and support to older adults.

Q: What is better – magnetic or air rowing machine?

Ans: It depends on what you want. Both types of rowing machines have their own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, Magnetic rowers are super quiet, provides a smooth towing experience, and require minimal maintenance. However, many of them cannot be folded because of the track seat.

On the other hand, the Air rowing machines provide incredible resistance, are easy to maintain, and foldable, but they are too noisy. Buy a rowing machine that suits your unique workout needs.

Q: Which is better – treadmill or rowing machine?

Ans: A rowing machine is better because it provides a full-body workout. Unlike a treadmill that only focuses on your lower body, a rowing machine provides a full-body workout and target more than 85% of your body muscles. A rowing machine is an all in one workout machine that allows you to perform multiple exercises on the same equipment. This means that you will not have to buy more workout equipped as it is the case with a treadmill that only allows you to perform a few exercises.

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Q: Is rowing machine good for your back?

Ans: Yes, a rowing machine is suitable for your back. Rowing machine provides stellar upper-body workout, mainly targeting the trapezii in the upper back and lats in the lower back resulting in a healthier back. That’s why people suffering from lower back pain are advised to exercise on a rowing machine.


A rowing machine is one of the best workout equipment to purchase for your home gym. It is an all in one workout that provides full-body workout by targeting all the core muscles. It is a great machine to purchase if you want to enhance your cardiovascular, burn calories, and tone muscles. They are ideal for people of all ages, including seniors.

If you are searching for the best rowing machine on the market, we recommend that you choose from the list provided above. All of the rowing machines that we have listed above has been tested and proven to provide incredible workout performance. They are also durable, portable, easy to use, and affordable.