Best Rowing Machines Under $500 of 2021

Last Updated on

Modern day millennials can be seen searching for effective ways of staying fit.

A rowing machine can assist you out substantially in this wellness crusade by helping you burn calories while strengthening your arm and shoulders.

This versatile exercise can engage your entire body and is seen as a more effective alternative of running or cycling.

Today we are going to discuss about 5 of the very best rowing machines which can be availed by shelling less than 500 dollars.

But first, let us go through the buying guide of these workout buddies which can help you benefit fully out of your purchase decision.

Points To Keep In Mind While Buying A Rowing Machine

  • Rowing machines are accompanied with a LCD screen which can help you analyze different statistics pertaining to your workout. The pricier ones can include advanced level information. But you should make sure that your rowing machine at least reveals data in regards to your workout time, calories burned, rowed distance, number of stokes etc.
  • Whenever we buy a rowing machine, we expect it to last at least for five years. You can guarantee the same by taking a detailed look at the manufacturing aspects of the machine. The materials utilized should be strong and durable. Here, you can take a look at the feedback and reviews posted about users who have purchased this product previously. Having a solid manufacturing warranty can also be of great help and can serve as a major pointer influencing your purchase call.
  • You can’t benefit out of any exercise if you face terrible discomfort while performing the same. This is why, you need to ensure the comfort parameter of your rower before bringing it home. The width of the seat and handle as well as the cushion quality of the seat needs to be considered here.
  • Rowing machines falling under the 500-dollar category usually have hydraulic-piston resistance with just a few exceptions of magnetic and air resistance models. You need to consider your health metrics and agility before deciding on the resistance level. At the end of the day, the rowing flow should be smooth and devoid of any hitches.
  • Rowing machines having a large base can be folded for easy storage. This can serve as an added point of advantage for users who suffer from restricted floor space in their house. Apart from storage, you also need to consider the assembling of these machines and try to select models which can be made ready for usage within minutes’ time.

We hope you have now developed a clear idea about the things to consider before purchasing a rowing machine. Now let us take a look at the 5 best models which can be purchased for less than 500 dollars:

1. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine – SF-RW5515

Check Price on Amazon

Your search for a no-nonsense rowing machine ends with the Sunny Health & FitnessSF-RW5515 which comes stacked with a plethora of features in spite of holding a budget price tag.

This magnetic machine comes in as a major breather over and above its hydraulic peers falling under the same price category.

Magnets are placed over its flywheel for resisting the pull on its handles and making it quieter than air machines as well as smoother than the hydraulic ones.

The rowing positon is pretty decent and the thin foam cushion can ensure a comfortable rowing experience as you proceed towards your ultimate wellness goals.

You can also bank on the footrests to hold on to your feet firmly while you engage in rowing workouts.

The textured pedals have a non-slip surface and ensures the stability of the machine irrespective of the intensity level you choose.

You can take your pick amongst eight different levels on intensity by simply shifting the knob underneath the display.

In spite of being a budget machine, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 stuns with its LCD display which can help you monitor your progress in the form of stroke count, time rowed as well as estimated calories lost per workout.


  • Built-in transportation wheels help with its storage.
  • Fully padded seat guarantee top notch comfort.
  • The resistance level can be increased or decreased by a simple twist of the knob to help you experience the type of workout you wish for.
  • Foam grip handlebar can prevent calluses especially during those long sessions.

2. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rowing Machine

Check Price on Amazon

If you are on the lookout for a rowing machine which can accommodate up to 250 pounds of weight, then this model of Fitness Reality can surely serve you well.

It now becomes possible to engage in high quality workouts with this compact model which can be stored away easily post usage.

The built-in transportation wheels make it possible to roll the rowing machine at a corner of the room or even a large closet.

When it comes to the department of comfort, this Fitness Reality rower wins the game with its extra wide seats which doesn’t cause any pain or irritation even after being used for long.

The contoured seat glides on industrial grade ball-bearing rollers.

The high-grade aluminum seat rail ensures a sturdy rowing stroke time and again.

The handlebar is also adequately wide and comes with a foam grip making it easy to change up your grip for engaging in those additional exercises while rowing.

You will not feel even the slightest of jerkiness or jarring while using this budget rowing machine which is manufactured using premium grade materials.

It can thus guarantee a quiet operation which doesn’t disturb those around you.

Adjusters present on the rear floor stabilizers ensures that the device sits flat on any surface and doesn’t wobble with its operation.


  • Bluetooth rower helps users in gauging their performance metrics by installing the My Cloud Fitness app in their Android and iOS devices.
  • 5” LCD makes it easy to understand calories burned, distance covered, time spent and similar stats.
  • Adjustable strap rings on the large anti-slip foot pedals can cater to a variety of feet sizes.
  • Makes it possible to engage in a challenging workout coupled with the 14-level dual transmission magnetic tension resistance.

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Check Price on Amazon

This compact and lightweight rower from Sunny Health & Fitness comes stacked with features making it ideal for people of all age groups who are on the lookout for low impact workout options.

You can either design your workout around this device or use it just for warming up.

But in both cases, it can provide excellent results and that too without burning a hole in your wallet.

The SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine functions through a hydraulic-piston resistance which can be adjusted easily through the knob.

Every time the knob gets adjusted to a high resistance level, a valve positioned inside the piston closes.

This in turn makes it difficult for the hydraulic liquid to pass through and ultimately hikes up the resistance strength.

The SF-RW1205 is a single-centered piston rower which is slightly different than most hydraulic-piston rowers available in the market.

The single-centered piston guarantees a smooth rowing motion by remaining attached with the center rowing arm.

You can expect 12 different resistance levels from the SF-RW1205 which can be adjusted while being seated on the rower.

Its inclined seat rail also adds up to the resistance meter as you will now have to push up your body weight with your knees bent.

A unique thing about the SF-RW1205 is that it operates noiselessly making it ideal for being used while watching the television.

The Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machine also features a LCD monitor which keeps track of data pertaining to calories burned, time and count of rowing strokes.


  • LCD monitor is accompanied with 2AA batteries making its setup a seamless experience.
  • High quality build helps the rower in standing the test of time and doesn’t wobble while being subjected to heavy-duty usage.
  • Rubber caps at the bottom of the frame prevents scratches on the floor while adding up to its overall sturdiness.

4. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Check Price on Amazon

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 radiates a retro look and feel which is bound to delight old school fitness enthusiasts.

This affordable model features an aluminum center beam and a steel frame which adds up to its durability and allows it to withstand heavy-duty usage even in the long run.

Although this rower is smaller in size than most of its market peers, it wins the game hands down in the department of performance, handling and storage.

You can easily select your workout intensity coupled with the manual control knob and gas shock resistance of the machine.

Its multifunction fitness monitor clearly displays the feedback pertaining to your workout sessions in a detailed and accurate manner.

This well-balanced and reliable training equipment has an ergonomic molded seat which can offer supreme comfort even while working out for long spans of time.

The folding arms of Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 adds up to its compactness as the arms can be easily folded post usage to save your space.

Stability gets increased by the textured foot plates of this rowing machine which comes with an adjustable nylon strap for catering to a variety of feet sizes.

The LCD workout monitor displays stats such as stroke count, workout time, total strokes accumulated and calories burned.


  • Reasonably quiet rowing machine which can help you enjoy a quiet and peaceful exercise session.
  • Compact and sturdy machine which can be folded away for easy storage post usage.
  • Comes with twelve different resistance levels which can easily cater to the requirement of fitness aficionados.
  • Resistance levels can be adjusted easily by shifting the dial positioned just underneath the seat. This can buffer you from having to get up from your seat time and again to change the resistance.
  • Scan mode of the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 cycles through each of the functions with a gap of 6 seconds so that you can have a holistic idea about your workout efficiency.

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Rowing Machine

Check Price on Amazon

This full motion rowing machine can imitate the feeling of a realistic rowing experience.

Its single bar handle works with an efficient resistance mechanism and can enhance the overall efficiency of your workout sessions.

Assembling this machine requires just 30 minutes and next to none DIY skills.

Once you are done assembling this rower, you are bound to feel delighted with its comfortable seat rest, wide pivotal footrests and well-padded handles.

This rower can serve as the ultimate nirvana for people who are on the lookout for budget aids while recovering from illnesses and getting back in track with their desired fitness level.

This rower is not meant for people with a height exceeding 5’10” as the short beam won’t allow a full stroke in such a case.

But if you have a medium height, you can surely benefit out of its full-motion action which can sculpt your arms, shoulders and upper back more than traditional single handle rowers.

The SF-RW5639has a solid build which empowers it to support users having body weight up to 350 pounds.

A single hydraulic piston positioned beneath the seat provides 12 different resistance levels.

You can toggle between the same by simply turning the collar on the piston.

The monitor display unit makes it easy to understand the stroke count, calories burned and rowing time.

You can either select a particular dataset or opt for the scan mode which switches through all the information every 6 seconds.


  • Adjustable foot straps and large anti-slip foot pedals prevent your feet from skidding while using this rowing machine. It can accommodate a variety of sizes while keeping your feet saddled in at all times.
  • The hydraulic cylinder resistance engages a specialized fluid every time the rider pulls back to exert an energy which can get your heart pumping.
  • Extra padded cushion ensures proper circulation of blood in the glutes even after a vigorous workout session.

6. MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine Folding Exercise Rower

Check Price on Amazon

The MaxKare magnetic rowing device is an entry-level machine which has been specially crafted for home use. Its steel tubing frame is coated with a corrosion resistant finish in the shade of grey whereas the ABS covers are printed in black and white.

This device offers a considerably long rail although it is not as large as the professional rowers and supports users having maximum 243 pounds of weight. You can fold its rail along with the seat.

A locking knob is present in the joint between the front and rail section. You can make it more storage friendly by unscrewing the knob and unlocking the rail. The unit’s length gets reduced by 60% once the rail is folded up.

A foam padded seat offer better positioning with its slight contour. Its vinyl double-stitched cover adds to the level of durability while making it easily washable. The three sets of integrated wheels come with rubber layering to ensure a quiet operation while the ball bearings help with smooth seat motion.

Durable footrests of the MaxKare rower features a pivoting design which allows users to adjust the position of their feet slightly with each stroke. This results in a more comfortable workout experience.

Heel-guards, non-slip surface and adjustable straps keeps your feet secured during the workout. Metallic stoppers at the heel prevents your feet from inclining backwards by more than 45-50 degrees.

Rubberized grips of the pulling handle offer enhanced comfort. A manual magnetic resistance system allows using this rowing machine without connecting it to a power outlet. The LCD monitor helps to keep track of strokes per minute, strokes per session, time, total strokes and calories burned from the workout.


  • Offers 16 levels of resistance to make your workouts more productive.
  • Extra long slide rail makes the rowing machine well suited for 6’5” people.
  • Large LCD panel clearly displays calories, count and time for keeping a tab on the effectiveness of your workout.
  • Non-slip foot pedals keep your feet in place throughout the rowing practice.

7. JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with LCD Display

Check Price on Amazon

The mid-range magnetic rowing machine by JOROTO comes with a foldable space saving design which can be easily stored when not in use. You can expect a full body workout out of its manual magnetic resistance system which burn fat by engaging multiple muscle groups.

This rowing machine doesn’t create a ruckus with its operation and this makes it ideal for home use. The sturdy machine features a steel and aluminium frame which can support up to 265 pounds of body weight.

A durable ABS material covers its other parts like flywheel cover and rear base cover for adding to its aesthetic appeal. An anti-corrosive paint job prevents the steel parts from rusts and scratches.

The ergonomic JOROTO rowing machine comes with a padded seat which keeps the users basking in comfort even after a lengthy workout. A soft rubber foam coats the straight steel bar handle while guaranteeing a comfortable and secure grip. You can thus engage in prolonged workouts without experiencing any blisters in your palms.

Adjustable safety straps along with anti-slip footrests secures your feet in place irrespective of the intensity of the workout. The JOROTO Indoor Rower offers 8 levels of resistance which makes it ideal for both beginners and intermediary users.

The friction-free resistance system does not have any maintenance requirement as the parts do not wear out even after prolonged usage. Users can track time, distance, strokes per minute, calories burned, total strokes and heart rate from the blue LED backlit monitor.


  • No-touch magnetic resistance makes your workout a super quiet one.
  • Nylon pull-cord adds greater amount of security to your workout sessions.
  • You can adjust the angle of the monitor display to view your favourite videos while working out.
  • Double sensor structure enhances the level of data accuracy.


Our well researched list can help you get into shape once you bring home any of these above-mentioned rowers and start following a strict workout regime.

The machines can help you burn calories and that too without imposing any adverse effect on your joints. Most of them come with transportation wheels which help out with its hassle-free storage post usage.

So, try them out today and don’t forget to share your ultimate experience with us.

Ron Corsetti

Ron Corsetti has been writing for more than 8 years for multiple top brands and famous journals. He has done MBA in Mass Communication, and is passionate for helping people. In the free time when he is not writing, he likes to do Cycling or Reading, You can contact him on twitter.