7 Best Rowing Machines Under 500 Dollars [A-To-Z Guides And Reviews]

Do you want to lose weight, get fit and keep your health sound from home? Having the best rowing machine is the best idea for that. You may have hundreds of choices in the market to choose from, but from where you start? 

Rowing machines are costly items; often, you may find some people who are ready to pay more than a thousand dollars for rowing machines. But if you have budget constraints and you don’t want to lose much more from your wallet, our choices of the best rowing machines under $500 could be a great deal. 

Today, we will share 7 affordable rowing machines that are perfect for your home; and you will love to have these with your budget limitation. Do not worry about their quality because they are top quality and help you achieve your fitness goals with great comfort. 

Table of Contents

How does the rowing machine work on your body?

So the question is how a rowing machine works on your body? A rowing machine offers a full-body workout. 

Ways on how rowing machines work: 

When you exercise on a rowing machine, it targets your upper body muscles such as pecs, arms, obliques, upper back, abdominal muscles, and lower body muscles, calves’ glutes, and quadriceps. 

Rowing machines help you burn many calories to lose weight and positively impact your heart and lungs. On a rowing machine, you get the opportunity to work out with low risks of injury. 

According to the research, when you exercise on the rowing machine, it targets 65% to 70% of your lower body parts, such as your legs, back, and core which helps to improve your body structure and posture by strengthening your legs and back. 

The major benefit of a rowing machine is that you can do exercise at home without a fitness expert; it is pretty easy and friendly to work out, which improves your overall health.

Cheap good quality row machines – How to use these machines as a beginner?

Once you have a quality row machine, you also need to learn how to use the rowing machine correctly. 

Learning the rowing machine is challenging for beginners and needs instructions to understand the terms and use of rowing machines. 

Know the basics of how you can use rowing machines as a beginner: 

Before exercise on a rowing machine, you need to warm up your body and stretch your body before using the rowing machine. 

Dynamically stretching is better for your body to raise the temperature. Now learn the process of how you can use a rowing machine by yourself. Follow the steps below. 

Top 5 steps that can ease the use of rowing machine: 

1. Sitting on the rower

Sitting on the rower means when you sit on the rower for a workout, make sure your seat is proper height-wise and you feel comfortable. 

2. Adjust workout

 Now set up the workout by adjusting to the flywheel. You will see different rowing modes; choose the workout mode like aerobic one or high intensity.

3. The catch 

It means your starting position in the rowing machine. Get your seat close to the base and then bend your knees, then catch the oar and start pulling your legs but keep your arms completely extended. 

But keep your core muscles targeted and warm up yourself for the first row.

4. The Drive 

It contains a combination of movements such as your arms, legs, and core muscles movements. Start drives movements by pulling your body off the footplate. 

Your first movement uses your legs to strength, but at this moment, keep your arms and body unengaged. Repeat these movements until you see your feet are flat on the footplate and legs completely extended.

5. Recovery

It is the reverse of drive movements to getting back to the catch position. You will need to extend the arms, bending knees, and bring the torso over your legs. 

Recovery after a workout is essential; remember that stretch your body and make it cool down slowly after performing the intensive workout.

Top 7 rowing machines under 500 dollars- Guides and Reviews

1. SNODE Water Rowing Machine 

SNODE water rowing machine could be the best rowing machine under $500 for you. Its unique features and versatile design have got our vote to pick it as one of the market’s cheap, quality rowing machines.

It offers completely water-resistant that might seem a little different and strange to you while rowing indoors. But it is a good choice that offers you smooth and efficient movement with every stroke.

You can also find its digital LCD monitor helpful to track your fitness goals after knowing necessary information about your workouts such as distance, speed, calories burned, and time. Proper monitoring could improve your workout efficiency.

Exercise with comfort is always the preference of everyone; this could be perfect for you due to its adjustable foot straps and appropriately placed seat. 

Water resistance makes that the quietest rowing machine. But plastic specifications produce some noise that is up to compromise level.

Some users complain that they did not feel any benefit after working out, and they find it low resistance for a workout. 

There are adjustable resistance buttons that can help you to increase the resistance level to make your workout challenging.


  • It offers you adjustment to increase or decrease resistance by its 8 adjustable resistance levels.
  • You can track your fitness after viewing the necessary information from the LCD monitor.
  • Built-in wheels make transportation easier.
  • Its fully padded seats and non-slipping handlebars make it comfortable
  • Detachable parts make it easier to clean  to fix issues


  • When rowing, it produces sound due to its plastic specifications
  • Very flat and wide webbing make it hard to pull the rope

2. Stamina ATS Air Rower

Another best performing rowing machine model is Stamina ATS Air Rower that runs on the air. It is one of the unique air-powered machines that is efficient and has unique features except for adjustment for resistance level.

It’s Upholstered, molded, sliding, and padded seats can make it comfortable to ride. But users in the rowing machines reviews section complain that the screws of seats become loose after some use, making it uncomfortable; the manufacturer should improve.

Its large LCD gives you a clear view of the basic four pieces of information: time, speed, calories burned, and distance. But its black & white screen sometimes creates problems to see the information.

Stamina ATS air rowing machine comes with a folding feature that makes it suitable to store. 

Its detachable parts make it easy to assemble, but parts are divided into too small proportions that take much time to assemble.

It is one of the best rowing machines under $500, especially for an indoor workout that supports the wind-resistance feature; you may find it smooth and efficient with every stroke.

The rower can hold users up to 250 lbs that is great, but compared with other indoor rowing machines in its price range, it is less than those rowing machines. If you are less than 250 lbs, then it is best for you.

Stamina ATS air rower comes with a mix of perfection and limitations, but overall the rowing machine is a good choice.


  • A large LCD makes you able to monitor your workout effectiveness
  • The Air-resistance feature makes it fit to match your pace 
  • Upholstered, padded, and sliding seats ensure comfort ride
  • Detachable parts make its assembling easier
  • The folding option best fit it for storage


  • Resistance adjustment is necessary but found missing
  • Black & white LCD sometimes makes information view unclear

Read the Keep Fit Health blog

3. ECHANFIT Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine

When it comes to getting the best home rowing machines that could meet your full-body workout needs at home, choosing this machine wouldn’t be a wrong decision. 

ECHNAFIT magnetic rower comes with 16 adjustable resistance levels based on the tension that makes your workout challenging. But at its highest level of resistance, it can produce only 65lbs that is not enough.

The rowing machine is made of high-grade steel material that makes it durable and long-lasting. Its strong steel material offers a higher capacity to hold up to 265lbs, but it is not as high as its competitors but can improve.

ECHANFIT magnetic rower versatile design and specifications such as polypropylene fiber made foam handle make it comfortable to hold. 

Its padded and well-installed seats are comfortable sitting and working out, but it is not suitable for taller people who are more than 6 feet.

The best quality LCD provides you real-time data about the workout; color specifications make it easy to read and adjust the functions. 

You can keep your phone with you in the phone holder. There is no match of this rower in the market regarding quietness.

The rower is compatible with transport and storage because it comes with wheels that make it easier to transport. 

The detachable parts and folding feature makes it easy to fold and store vertically. 

Also the folding feature makes assembling and disassembling easier, but to do so the provided tools are not compatible. You may need some personal tools like a ratchet.


  • Good quality steel material makes it durable and strong enough to hold more weight
  • Magnetic resistance ensures its quietness
  • Easy to detach and assemble its parts
  • Built-in wheels make its transportation easier
  • Large size colored LCD gives a clear view of information


  • Comfortable for indoor users, but not for taller and athletes
  • Give very low tension even at a higher tension level

4. Fitness Reality 1000 plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rowing

Perhaps, Fitness Reality 1000 is one such affordable unit that could meet your needs as the best rowing machine under $500. It comes with unique, efficient, but simple features that make it perfect for indoor rowing.  

Besides, this rowing machine comes with advanced features such as Bluetooth magnetic features to set tension levels. 

You can make your workout challenging by adjusting 14 adjustment magnetic transmission levels, but practical tension is not enough even at its highest level. 

It will probably be the best option for you that you can set for measuring your workout intensity at different levels.

The magnetic resistance makes that rower so much quieter; even you can listen to your heartbeat. Some noise produced from its sliding seat, but you did not notice it until you focused on the sound.

It can be a perfect rowing machine that offers you exercise upright curls, bent-over rows, triceps extensions, standing shoulder presses, and much more. 

Besides, this rowing is lightweight that makes it easy to transport, but the folding feature is missing, and you cannot store it in small spaces.

Most significantly, you’ll find this machine available in black and grey color that gives a very charming look.  However, its colored LCD monitor gives you a clearer view of information to track your workout intensity. 

High-quality steel material and frame ensure great resistance against fast movements that make it durable and long-lasting. Its strong steel material can hold 250lbs.


  • Colorful and large digital screen to view information
  • Sliding and padded seat makes it comfortable
  • High-quality steel material ensures longevity and durability
  • 14 magnetic adjustment levels to make your workout challenging
  • Magnetic resistance support features make it silent


  • Folding helps in storage but found missing
  • Need to pay for Bluetooth app after one month period

5. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness magnetic rowing machine comes with unique features and simple specifications. It provides a full-body workout with silence.

You can increase your workout intensity by adjusting your resistance level. It is pretty easy to adjust the resistance level by twisting a knob. 

Rower with 8 resistance levels gives a challenging workout experience to burn more calories.

For monitoring your workout intensity, you’ll find an available digital LCD monitor, but it has fewer options than competitors. 

You can only view times, calories, and strokes, but distance information is found missing. LCD also doesn’t have 3D glass that makes it hard to view information.

With a padded and cushioned seat, it ensures great comfort. It is manufactured with alloy steel and iron material that make this unit durable, long-lasting, and highly resistant. 

Non-slip pedals with a non-slip upper surface keep your feet firm and comfortable.  Though it can hold 250lbs weight, but it isn’t a superior choice for athletes or taller people. 

When you ride on the rower, you find it comfortable and safe due to textured pedals with a combination of safety straps. The rower has perfect features except for the LCD monitor that needs some improvements.


  • Non-slipping pedals keep your feet firm and ensure a comfortable ride
  • Strong alloy steel material makes that machine durable and long-lasting
  • Magnetic resistance adjustment support ensures silence operations
  • Texture pedal with safety straps make your workout safe
  • Transportation wheels ensure transportation easier


  • LCD has fewer options; distance is an important feature but found missing
  • LCD gives an unclear view due to the non-availability of 3D glass

6. MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine

MaxKare Magnetic rowing machine is one of the top-line indoor rowing units with excellent and unique features. 

With a Digital display panel, it helps you detect the count, such as calorie count, total time etc, that may improve your fitness tracking. But the digital display has complex adjustments that make it difficult to operate.

Most importantly, advanced features are added to make it suitable for everyone. With the extra-long slide rail plus an extended length of 45 inches, you’ll find this machine suitable, especially for taller people. 

It is a high-performing magnetic resistance control system with 16 levels for adjusting the tension to increase your workout intensity.  

But some complaints by the users that when you set it at level 16, it becomes impossible to pull the row. You can only work out at level 7 and maximum at level 10.

The rower is perfect for the whole family, and you can burn enough calories with just 30 minutes of workout. 

Besides, it is highly comfortable due to its paddled handles and cushioned seat, making your workout more challenging, comfortable, and enjoyable. 

Moreover, you will find it safe to use because of large, textured pedals with a combination of safety straps and a non-slipping surface. 

Though you can easily maintain your position, but the machine slips on the floor and slides from its place. You can overcome that problem by placing it on the carpet or placing a mat under the rower.


  • Ensures safe workout because of textured pedals with safety straps
  • Non-slipping foot strap surface keeps your feet at the correct position
  • Efficient magnetic resistance level for challenging workout
  • High class large colorful Digital LCD monitor
  • No noise feature makes it suitable for indoor workout


  • Machine start sliding on the floor with movements
  • It is very hard to pull the rope after resistance level 10

7. Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine

It is our final choice in this review list as the best rowing machines under $500 is. Its instance water resistance with a flywheel and 16 blades provide higher resistance for a workout. 

The Sunny Health & Fitness surge 500 water rowing machine is manufactured with sturdy but lightweight steel material that makes it durable but not stronger to hold over 300lbs. 

Its versatile design with the best leveling features makes it perfect to be in level and comfortable to work out. But you need to place a carpet or mat under the rower to keep it firm on the floor.

The rowing machine comes with high-density rubber wheels that make transportation easier. The user complains that the wheel becomes jammed after moderate use.

It is simple to store by keeping it upright as recommended by the manufacturer, but we complained that it causes leakage in its tank.

Rower foot pedals come with non-slipping material and screw adjustable features that makes it convenient to set according to your need. But the left foot pedal bolt becomes jammed and cannot screw after moderate use. 

Its Digital Fitness tracker shows helpful information like time, total strokes, calories burn, HR, temperature, and distance to analyze your workout intensity. 

High water resistance helps you to produce higher strokes. However, the reverse stroke of this machine makes its belt too slack that removes it again and again. Though this rower has many features, but it needs to make some improvements to become an excellent choice.


  • Improves your fitness tracking with an advanced R2 fitness meter
  • High profile padded seat makes your riding experience perfect
  • Constructed with lightweight but sturdy steel material
  • Water-resistance with 16 hydro blades for higher resistance
  • Rubber wheels to easily transport the machine


  • Left foot pedal bolt become unscrew after moderate use
  • The belt becomes slack and loses on return strokes

Buying guide:  best rowing machines under 500 

What people are considering before buying?

Buying a rowing machine can be a wise decision and entire waste of money. Before buying a rowing machine for your home, it is necessary to pick the model that fits your needs. 

Rowing machines come with different features such as resistance, magnet power, air, water, and other features. But it does not mean the same resistance is good for everyone; requirements change from person to person.

It depends on your needs and demands, especially when it comes to the question, what are the best rowing machines for your home?

It would be good if you consider the following things to find the best home rowing machines 2022. Read the buying guide and know about helpful considerations.

Things you should consider before buying the best rowing machines:

1. Purpose

Buying a perfect rowing machine depends on your needs. So before deciding about the machine, deeply analyze your needs first and then embark on a search. 

It is good to ask yourself that you need a rowing machine for occasional exercise or for losing weight.  

It is also essential to consider that you will use or someone else also uses your home rowing machine. Once you have analyzed the purpose and then stick with that and never tempted by any other model.

2. Display Monitor

When using a rowing machine, you need to view basic information like distance, strokes, rpm, time, and calories. Almost all rowing machines come with a display monitor to show basic information.

Even some machines come with extended features like split time and the average intensity.  It is essential to consider the display monitor and its features.

3. Resistance

Resistance and its adjustment are also essential to consider for a rowing machine. Choosing air or water resistance is a good option for a smooth experience with maximum resistance.

But never forget to check the adjustable resistance features because it is found missing in some cheap quality machines. Resistance adjustable features provide you with options to set the specific resistance level for your workout.

4. The seating position and Comfortability

When you use the rowing machine, you will need to sit in the same position for an extended period. 

So consider the seat position that should be fit to your body position and also comfortable to sit.

If your seat position is not good, you will constantly make adjustments for comfort that will lose your focus and affect your workout performance. 

Your rowing machine seat distance from the ground should be appropriate. Because the too low or too high position of the seat also makes it difficult to get on and off.

5. Noise Level

Noise level is a necessary feature to consider while choosing the rowing machine for the home. 

If you work out in an open space or an apartment, then a high noise level will disturb other people around you. It will also distract your focus, and you will lose your interest in a workout.

Choosing the Water rower is better than the others because it is known as the sleeker and quieter.

6. Foldable Feature

Modern rowing machines come with a folding feature that makes them possible to transport. But the folding feature is not found in each rowing machine, especially the cheap machines. 

So consider that feature when choosing the best rowing machine under $500. It will make your rowing machine portable and friendly to use at different places.

7. Powering

When it comes to powering the home rowing machines, there are two types of machines: electric and manual. Mostly rowers come in manual featuring and displays on machine run on the battery. 

But if you want to choose the electric rower, make sure you have an arrangement of plug sockets near the place where you want to install your machine.

8. Rower size

You are not buying a rower for commercial purposes where you have enough space for the rowing machine in the gym. 

So when it comes to choosing the rower for your home, then size the mattress a lot.  Everyone can’t have a big house and enough space for the rower.

Try to get the size that is easy to store in your home. If you take a rowing machine with a folding feature, then it will become easier to store it vertically after folding.

9. Easy maintenance 

Every tool needs maintenance, so it is necessary to consider maintenance features when buying such a costly tool. A rowing machine that comes with many detachable parts that are easier to remove and install is better to choose.

You cannot afford professional expenses each time when you need some maintenance. A machine like a fan or a chain has complicated parts and is suitable for commercial use. They need professional services to assemble and fix issues.

A rower needs continuous maintenance like cleaning of its parts, oiling its parts, changing water. So get a machine that has simple assembling and maintenance features.

10. Adjustable Foot Straps

While using rowing machines, you will need to put your feet on separate pads and strap them in the proper place. It becomes disgusting when the foot strap adjustment feature is missing.

You should ensure that your machine has adjustable foot straps to make you fit your feet snugly. 

The medium-sized machines are easy if that feature is missing, but necessary to check that feature if choosing the smaller or larger size than average.

11. Assembly

Assembly is a necessary feature to consider, especially when choosing the best rowing machine for your home. You are not a professional that can fix each problem. 

You may need to assemble and disassemble your rowing machine to shift or to do maintenance. So we prefer to buy an easy assembly feature containing a machine. 

The benefit is that you do it yourself after reading the manufacturer’s instructions and can save money to pay a professional.

12. Consider Budget

When selecting the rowing machine, it is also essential to stick to your budget. You will see the rowing machines between ranges of $100 to $ 3500. So it is necessary to figure out your budget to spend on a rowing machine.

It is no doubt the costly machines come with extensive and excellent features. But you do not need a high-quality commercial-grade rowing machine. You can also find the best performing rowers for a home in affordable choices.

You have many rower choices to find the best rowing machine under $500. But never set your budget too low; machines between ranges of $300 to $500 are perfect for home use.

13. Material

A rowing machine is a costly tool, and surely you need to consider the durability feature. So try to get the best material like alloy steel-made rower for a long lifespan. 

It will make your machines durable and make them easy to maintain and use for extended years but tension-free. Probably you want to use a rower for decades, so never forget to check its material for durability and long-lasting.

14. Color

Rower machines are available in a variety of colors and designs. But if you are fond of décor and consciously pick every home item after considering your décor, then color and design are important to consider.

Modern rowers come in different colors and colors that perfectly match your room color and décor and make them more charming.

15. Warranty

The warranty of any item increases your trust and level of satisfaction. It is essential to consider when you are looking for the best rowing machine under $500

Modern costly brands offer warranty cover, but you may find them missing in cheap rowers. It is necessary to check the warranty when choosing cheap good quality rowing machines for your home. Warranty period from 3 to 5 years is considering a good feature of a rower.

How do you choose the best rowing machine?

When you enter the market to find the best rowing machine, you may find hundreds of brands to choose from; what are the best rowing machines for home use? It depends on different factors.

Factors that make a rowing machine best: 

You will need to consider your many factors that we discussed earlier in this guide. However, before choosing the best rowing machine, you should follow some tricks. Let’s take a look at these hacks below.

  • Try to make an in-depth research
  • Read the customer reviews
  • Watch videos and read journal, blogs, magazines etc
  • Attend some forum discussion and 
  • Get the expert’s recommendation. 

Our best pick based on research:

Here, to narrow down your search and make you stress-free, we’ve shared 7 best rowing machines under $500. 

Among the above 7 rowing machines, the MaxKare Magnetic rowing machine is the winner and our favorite based on research. 

Overall, it offers almost all the essential features but with an affordable budget.

How to use a rowing machine correctly?

There’s a chance that you fall in an accident if you don’t know the use of any device correctly, and the rowing machine isn’t different at that point.  

Ways how you can use the rowing machine correctly: 

To benefit from the rowing machine, you should correctly use the rowing machine.

  • The correct way to use a home rowing machine is to keep your legs isolated while holding the oar. 
  • Try to keep your arm extended and put your weight on your feet
  • Balls and knees should be bent.
  • Try to push your back only using your legs but keeping your core engaged and back straight.

Also, give exercise to your arms by keeping your legs straight and pulling the oar toward your chest but keep your elbow out to the sides.


  • Do not raise your arms too high
  • Do not make a scooping motion
  • Avoid letting your knees to the sides

What are different types of Rowing Machines?

Rowing machines are available in four types. Let’s discuss: 

4 Types of Rowing Machines

1. Hydraulic rowing machines

Hydraulic machines are pistons of cylinder-based rowers that receive tension from the amount of air or fluid. They are low-cost rowers and different from water rowers and magnetic air rowers.

They require you to be in an exercise position that does not offer you a natural rowing motion. You cannot do natural movements with your legs and arms together.

2. Magnetic resistance rowing machines

Magnetic rowers are known as virtually silent rowers that provide smooth rowing strokes.  They utilize a magnetic brake system for the resistance. These rowers are not found efficient and offer very low friction.

3. Water rowers

Water rowers are the perfect machines for people who want outdoor rowing in the water. It receives the resistance to overcome the effects of water movements in the tank. 

They are efficient and produce enough resistance but with silence. These rowers are also suitable to use indoors.

4. Flywheel rowers

Flywheel rowers also work the same as water rowers and perfect for outdoor rowing. 

The difference is that flywheel rowing machines receive resistance by pulling motion that spins the flywheel through attached fan blades. Machines produce resistance by the use of wind.

Frequently Asked Questions: best rowing machines under $500 

Question 1: Are rowing machines helpful to lose belly fats?

Answer:  “Yes” rowing machines are the best exercising tool to burn calories and strengthen your muscles. It is also found helpful to shed your belly fats. 

When you work out on the rower, it elevates your heart rate that also helps to reduce belly fat and overall body fat.

Question 2: How long should you exercise on an indoor rowing machine?

Answer:  It only depends on your fitness level and your goals. If you are suffering from weight and using rowers to lose weight, you can spend more time than average.

But it is good to start with short sessions like 25 minutes per day and then gradually increase the time of rowing sessions. 

Question 3: Is rowing safe for pregnant women?

Answer: We never recommend rowing during pregnancy if you are a beginner. But a regular user of a rowing machine and your pregnancy conditions are also good, then you can do rowing but carefully.

You should use the lower foot straps to avoid putting more pressure on your tummy and abdominal and take short sessions.

Question 4: Is it good to use a rowing machine instead of a Treadmill?

Answer: When choosing the best one among treadmill and rowing machine then rowing machine has plus benefits. Both machines are good for cardio exercises. 

Rowing machines offer you exercise your lower and upper body parts simultaneously. But the Treadmill only offers exercising the opportunity to your lower body parts.

Question 5: Does rowing machine calorie count tell accurate?

Answer:  It is not a hundred percent but gives you a close estimate. Several factors affect the calorie counter, like size, age, the heat of the rowing machine, and the environment.

It is helpful if you cut your meals and also do the rowing. With less intake of calories, you can reach your goals quicker than just depending on rowing calories.


You have gone through our article about the best rowing machines under $500. We have shared how the rowing machine works on our body and how to use the rowing machine with you.

We also help you with buying guide consideration to choose the best rowing machine for indoor. For making it easier for you to choose from, we have shared 7 best-performing rowing machines that are affordable and sturdy.

All of them are good to choose for an indoor workout, but we recommend the MaxKare Magnetic rowing machine and SNODE water rowing machine for a better rowing experience. They offer excellent features with very fewer limitations that can be managed.

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