The 10 Best Rowing Machine Under 500 in 2023

Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Justin Harris

Rowing is an impression of propelling boats with oars. It requires your whole body to invest power to row a boat. A thorough full-body workout, engaging 86% of your body muscles into exercise. But outdoor rowing takes much preparation. It’s an event, and you cannot do it whenever you wish to.

Best Rowing Machine Under 500

A rowing machine thus is made for fulfilling a purpose, making rowing an indoor activity. It’s a machine that works on both the upper and lower body burns a tremendous amount of calories without stressing the joints much.

Reviews of The 10 Best Rowing Machine Under 500

The Best Rowing Machine Under 500 will be an affordable but sturdy exercise machine with a sliding seat and oars. Oars in the form of two handles and a flexible cord. Not just burning calories, the rowing machine also works on your pace and stable movement.

The continuous motion leaves a calming effect on your mind, strengthens your body, increases your endurance, and provides you with healthy lungs and heart. Hop on your rowing machine and simultaneously take care of your diet, make it healthy and balanced and take it timely. You will see the difference in no time, your body and mind will feel fresh, and you will get back in shape too. Below are our best picks.

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

Sunny Health & Fitness Rower is a magnetic rowing machine with eight different resistance levels. Its durable 48-inch side rail and 44-inch inseam length make it a rowing machine for users of every shape and size.

It has a heavy-duty, long-lasting steel mainframe with a wide cushioned seat. Not just that, you can cut its size into half while storing it as it has a foldable frame. No need to lift or drag it to store; just tilt and roll with the transportation wheels beneath.

Turn the tension knob according to your energy; make it challenging by increasing resistance or keep it low during a lazy, tiring day. When you are allowed to make it easy or difficult, that works as both challenge and motivation in different circumstances. It helps you challenge yourself on even days and also not skip the workout session during the odd days when your body is not ready to work out.

It has a very convenient, easy-to-read large LCD console, a sturdy, flexible cord with anti-slip handlebars, large anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable straps, and floor stabilizers.

What We Like:

  • Heavy-duty steel foldable mainframe.
  • Eight magnetic resistance levels.
  • Durable, long rail with wide padded seat.
  • Easy-to-read large LCD console.
  • Anti-slip handlebars and foot pedals.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Foot straps could have been of better quality.

2. FITNESS REALITY 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

Enjoy a whopping 14 levels of magnetic resistance and throw better challenges while rowing on the FITNESS REALITY 1000 rower.

It ensures a full-body low-impact workout like no other. You can target every major muscle group in your body from forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, legs, thighs, and much more with this single machine that costs under 500.

Not just the basic rowing motion, you can try additional exercises to further the workout benefit. For that, the rowing machine has the patent-pending front stabilizer footpads. While standing on those footpads and pulling the flexible cord, you can try exercises like front and side raises, triceps extensions, curls, reverse grip curl, upright and bent-over rows, shrugs, standing shoulder presses, and a lot more.

Other than that, you have the basics like foot pedals with adjustable straps, a display showing distance, time, and burned calories, comfy hand grips, a padded seat, and it is also compatible with the My Cloud Fitness app.

What We Like:

  • Space-saver design.
  • 14 levels of magnetic resistance.
  • Patent-pending front stabilizer footpads.
  • Allows additional exercise with the footpads.
  • Compatible with My Cloud Fitness app.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Tad bit jerky.

3. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5713 Water Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness has a  rowing machine with water resistance too. This one is very similar to the previous one; thus, both can be well compared and judged and great alternatives to each other. The water resistance maintains steady rowing, great for strengthening muscles and cardio workouts.

In the transparent water container, you have the flywheel and 16 fan blades. It’s the high-density hydro blades that offer unlimited resistance and dynamic response with each stroke. The blade withstands water corrosion, rust, and damage and spins real smooth at a very high resistance without causing any friction or halt in pace. It is meant for vigorous use and to withstand multiple water resistance.

The rowing machine also features an R2 fitness meter for tracking all the essential workout metrics accurately, without error. It records and displays total time, 500 M time, strokes per minute, total strokes, burned calories, ambient temperature, and is compatible with ANT+ heart rate technology. Buy the separately sold heart rate belt and track your heart condition as well.

Make your rowing experience better with its large foot pedals with ridges and foot straps, comfy handle grips and flexible cord, cushioned high-profile molded seat, stabilizers with wheels, and foldable frame.

What We Like:

  • A foldable, rowing machine with water resistance.
  • Instant resistance, higher and dynamic.
  • High-density hydro blades with 16 fan blades.
  • R2 fitness meter.
  • High-profile molded cushioned seat.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Cheap plastic components.

4. MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rower

This one is a unique rowing machine both in terms of appearance and how it works. It aims to give you an experience of the real stroke on the water. And for that, it has a transparent receptacle that needs to be filled with water. Fill the container, less than 2/3 of it, before starting your training and row with water resistance instead of air or magnetic.

The sturdy and durable steel mainframe has a weight capacity of 264lbs. It has a large cushioned seat that glides smoothly on the sturdy side rail.

Its LCD monitor is different too. Different in the sense that it’s adjustable so that you can experience optimum visibility. It tracks and shows SPM, time, total strokes, distance, and burned calories. Also, to make the workout more challenging, it provides you a man-machine competition mode.

The fully foam-padded handles and the flexible cord allows a wider range of motion and better pace. Finally, the adjustable footplates have sturdy straps and five pairs of hole sites to fit any feet of users of any size.

What We Like:

  • A distinct rowing machine with water resistance.
  • Stimulates water rowing better.
  • Durable steel mainframe.
  • Footplates with five pair of hole sites.
  • Adjustable LCD monitor for optimum visibility.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Clunky.

5. Stamina ATS Air Rower | Rowing Machine

Stamina ATS Air Rower is apt for your cardiovascular exercise and designed for rigorous use. It has a folding frame, thus a space saver. Its oars are a combination of robust padded handles and a durable, very flexible nylon strap, which offers comfort and enhanced stability.

It features dynamic air resistance, which works on your command. It’s a feature, very easy to operate and intuitive. You pull hard, get more resistance, and increase the difficulty level. Make it slow, a mild pull, and have an easy rowing session.

This rowing machine has a comfy, smooth sliding padded and upholstered seat. It glides smoothly on the sturdy oversized angled seat rail and returns to its previous position, continuously providing a stable motion.

The large adjustable footplates with ridges fit users of all sizes and shapes. No matter how strongly you are rowing your machine, your feet will not slip and will be in place. The machine is excellent for 86% of your upper and lower body muscles. You burn calories, strengthen your body, tone it without impacting the joints, and improve your heart health too.

What We Like:

  • Folded, space-saving design.
  • Intuitive wind resistance.
  • An oversized durable rail allows the padded, upholstered seat to glide smoothly.
  • Durable nylon strap and comfy grip.
  • Large footplates, are adjustable and has ridges.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Needed a better display.

6. JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine

JOROTO Rowing Machine flaunts a high-quality, robust aluminum flywheel and a no-touch magnetic resistance. You have ten resistance levels to challenge yourself while rowing the machine, apt for the experts. And the beginners too, as they can use it for a long time till they turn experts starting with lower resistance and finally reaching the highest resistance.

The large contoured cushioned seat glides real smooth with a stable pace on the sturdy aluminum side rail. The cord is easy to pull, holding the comfy foam handlebar. Your feet are well-placed on large anti-slip foot pedals. The pedals are not stationary; thus comfortable to your feet while you push them to get the power to slide the seat.

Thanks to the flywheel, the rowing machine is quiet thus best for home use where you have pets and kids. The foldable design also benefits to keep your kids safe as you can store it in a corner, totally making it unusable.

Track the time, strokes, total strokes, burned calories, and keep a check on your workout progress with its easy-to-read digital monitor. You can adjust the monitor too and keep it at your eye level always for better visibility.

What We Like:

  • Robust aluminum flywheel and side rail.
  • Double sensor for accurate data.
  • Super smooth and quiet rowing.
  • Ten resistance levels.
  • Large contoured cushioned seat.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Adjustable monitor, but pretty basic.

7. CIRCUIT FITNESS AMZ-986RW Rowing Machine

This one is a heavy-duty rowing machine made of sturdy steel and aluminum. The heavy-duty, hard-wearing construction and the premium frame make it a gear stable and worth relying on.

It has an 11lbs flywheel that provides smooth magnetic resistance. You have eight resistance settings to lower or increase the challenge of rowing the machine in different intensities. The long side rail is foldable, and the folding design makes the gear very easy to store. You have an injection-molded seat on the side rail, which assures optimum comfort and support during long and intense workout sessions.

The LCD screen panel is pretty moderate in size and tracks your workout progress through and through to keep you updated. Starting from speed, distance, time to SPM, burned calories, date, and ambient temperature, the panel says it all.

Your hands and feet are both at ease, thanks to the durable foam-covered handle and pivoting foot pedals. The handles are anti-slip, and your feet will stay in place due to the slip-resistant pedals. And they have adjustable straps too for secure placement and to support feet of all sizes.

What We Like:

  • Steel and aluminum construction.
  • 11lbs flywheel with magnetic resistance.
  • Eight resistance settings for multiple intensity.
  • LCD screen panel.
  • Comfy injection-molded seat.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Seat wheels not up to the mark.

8. Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

We are going to end our discussion about different rowing machines with a slightly different rower. It’s a rower with smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance and rowing arms. The gear mimics the water rowing motion like no other. Try low-impact aerobic exercises, increase your metabolism, and burn more calories and fat without impacting your joints.

The steel-aluminum construction, precision extruded aluminum beam, and deluxe ball-bearing roller system make it a long-lasting rowing machine for intense use. You have the tension knob to adjust the resistance, and you can also lift the beam and increase the incline to make the workout more intense and challenging.

Instead of handle grips with a cord, this one has a pair of free-motion handlebars with foam for a comfortable hold. You continuously move the handlebars in a circular motion, forward to backward, just like the rowers do with oars. Thus your body is getting all the benefits of real-life rowing working out at home.

The simple LCD monitor, the anti-slip pivoting foot pedals, and comfy thick, padded seat everything makes the rowing all the more conducive and comfortable during intense workouts. Press the scan mode, and the monitor will continually display the different metrics one by one for a few seconds.

What We Like:

  • Provides all the benefits of outdoor rowing.
  • Steel aluminum construction.
  • Smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance.
  • Free motion rowing arms.
  • Precision extruded aluminum beam adjustable for incline.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Cheap quality roller wheels.

9. Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

We have a rowing machine with easy accessibility, high functionality, and optimum efficiency with an ergonomic foldable design. It burns calories, tones the muscles, and increases cardiovascular endurance, and very soon, you will develop a defined body with regular rowing.

You are rowing in eight different magnetic resistance levels, sometimes in low intensity, sometimes higher. Even during the higher resistance rowing sessions, you will be at optimum comfort because this one flaunts a comfortable contoured foam seat pad, large foot pedals with ridges and customizable straps, and foam-covered anti-slip row handles.

The LCD panel ensures better visibility and is very easy to read. Your workout progress is all in front of your eyes, detailed info about time, stroke count, distance, RPM, and burned calories. If it’s not at your eye level, move it forward or backward, and fix it according to your comfort. You have a smartphone and tablet holder right along with the panel.

Store the machine in a compact space by folding the side rail and releasing the pin, and folding the monitor. It’s a matter of seconds to fold it up due to its space-saving design. Also, you have the locking option where you fold it and lock it; thus, it remains safe while stored.

What We Like:

  • Foldable, space-saving design.
  • Eight resistance levels.
  • Easy to adjust and read LCD panel.
  • Contoured foam seat pad.
  • Textured foot pedals with straps and anti-slip foamed grips.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Wobbly pedals.

10. LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine

Here we have a rowing machine with a powerful 16.5-pound flywheel. The patented Eddy Current Drive System makes it perform smooth and ultra-quiet. You could be rowing at high resistance, but the gear will not disturb, creating noise.

The solid steel frame and the sturdy built make it perfect for users up to 300lbs. It has a space-saving design, hence foldable. Once folded, it turns one-third of its actual size in length. Therefore you can set it into a small corner comfortably without wasting space.

It offers five resistance levels, not too vast, but the resistance is pretty high at level five. If your purpose is to have a quiet machine with moderately high resistance, this is it. Because the main purpose of it was to provide a silent rowing experience, that’s that. Thus the powerful flywheel and patented drive system in a rather less resistance level rowing machine.

You have a simple console with three LCD windows showing readouts for distance, time, calories, stroke count, strokes per minute, basically your total body workout feedback. The comfy 14-inches injected foam seat, foot pedals, anti-slip and has foot straps and the anti-slip handlebars are foamed and comfy to hold and row.

What We Like:

  • Powerful 16.5-pound flywheel.
  • Patented Eddy Current Drive System.
  • Super smooth rowing and ultra-quiet performance.
  • 14-inches injected foam seat.
  • Five resistance levels.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lacks higher resistance.

Buying Guide Rowing Machine Under 500

Under $500 doesn’t have to be cheap-quality and compromise comfort and features. You are going to get more than the basic features at this price range. Consider having the below qualities in a rowing machine before buying one.


When you are doing a full-body workout on a machine, it has to be sturdy. Otherwise, the frame or other components will fail to take the weight and intense, vigorous workout movements. When you are continually pulling a strap holding the grips, it must be flexible and robust. Or the strap will tear and cause injury. For higher resistance, smooth performance, and quiet workout sessions, the gear needs a robust flywheel and resistance system. Every component must be sturdy for protection.


Design is crucial. If it’s a rowing machine with air resistance, the design will be of one type. If it has a flywheel, the design will be different. The water resistance ones are of a totally different design. But the design should make the rowing machine user-friendly. Even the seat height, placement of the monitor, folding feature, space-saving structure, everything is part of the user-friendly design.


When the machine is foldable, it becomes easier for you to store it. Rowing machines are, by design, long and bulky to an extent, so you need quite a large place to set it up and workout. But keeping it as it is after workouts could be a waste of space. So try the foldable ones to save space and convenient storage.

Resistance Levels

You can easily expect eight resistance levels from a rowing machine within $500. In some cases, even more. The resistance levels intensity from one to the other might not be too drastic. But at this price range, having a few different resistance levels is just enough. And those resistance levels are great for making the rowing more challenging.

Comfortable Seat, Grips, And Pedals

The seat has to be broad, must take the whole load of the weight, glide smooth, and well-cushioned for one to sit for a long time doing the intense movements. A rowing machine grips have to be foamed as you will need to hold them tight the whole session.

It also has to be anti-slip not to get frustrated with the breaks every second minute. Lastly, a pair of large pivoting foot pedals with adjustable straps will keep your feet at ease. Pivoting, not stationary, not wobbly as well. The right kind of oscillating following a rhythm and pace will make all the hard push to glide the seat more easy and comfy.


Expecting quiet performance from a rowing machine is a bit too much, especially when it’s under $500. But such machines are available. Some are super quiet, and some might make a little noise, which is ignorable. So, if not ultra-quiet, you must purchase a low noise rowing machine for a disturbance-free workout session.


An easy to read monitor with a scan mode is the best option for a rowing machine to have. It’s better to have the feature of adjusting the monitor, bringing it at the eye level for optimum visibility. A monitor will help you to see the time, distance, stroke count, and so much more. The record will make you understand how much you are progressing or how much you have done in one rowing session. So, an LCD monitor that shows accurate results is mandatory.

Rowing Machine Under 500 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

1. What Is the Best Rowing Machine Under $500?

This one is an easy question. At least when we have compiled a list of ten and discussed in detail. We have a rowing machine with air resistance, water resistance, hydraulic cylinder resistance, a few with handlebars and grip, and one with a free motion arm.

Several types to choose from, indeed. All these are the best in an individual capacity and are all great alternatives to each other. Therefore, your requirement and understanding of a rowing machine will decide which one is the best. The subject matter totally turns subjective when it comes to determining the best among the best.

2. Can I Lose Weight With a Rowing Machine?

A rowing machine is for a full-body workout. It works on your upper body with the arm movements and the lower body, with leg push and movement. When your full body is at work and burns calories, you will eventually lose weight. It might not be as quick as using a treadmill or other similar gears, but yes, you will lose weight, slack the fat while working out on a rowing machine.

3. Is a Rowing Machine the Best for Joint Pain?

Rowing machines are low impact workout tools. Your body muscles are moving intensely. You are burning calories, toning your body, busy in cardio workouts, that, too, full-body but without impacting your joints. There are no weights that you are lifting to increase the resistance levels.

Rather, your power is deciding the intensity. Also, there are no uneven surfaces, your feet are well-strapped on comfy foot pedals, you are seated on a comfy seat, holding padded stable grips, so low-impact on the joints is a given. That is why along with the joint pain patients, a rowing machine is recommended to people struggling with injuries too.

4. How Often Should I Workout on a Rowing Machine?

Thrice a week or every alternate day. Not a day more. Those of you who think you can use a rowing machine every day, you should not. You don’t need to. The day you are working on your full body and muscle groups, you will have to give the tissues a day or two to heal. An intense workout should be done regularly, not every day. No matter how low the resistance is, please do not exercise on a rowing machine more than thrice or four times a week.

5. Is a Rowing Machine Under $500 Worth It?

$500 is not a small amount, so of course, a rowing machine under $500 is worth it. There is no need to build up a notion that you will get a cheap-quality rowing machine in that price range. Even an expensive rowing machine could be underwhelming in quality if purchased randomly without any knowledge. The above ones all come in the $500 range, and they are all good-quality, well-made, fully-featured rowing machines worth their price.

Final Words

The Best Rowing Machine Under 500 mostly works on your lower body muscles like abs, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves. You use your lower body with full force in sliding the seat back and forth. On the other hand, your upper body is also at work as you are holding the oars with both of your hands, making the arm, shoulders, chest, back all work together in full form.

All these and low impact on joints sounds more than perfect. It is recommended to the patients suffering from osteoarthritis as a great alternative to treadmills and elliptical machines.

So, you can imagine how effective and safe it is. To turn your sedentary lifestyle into a healthy and active one, you need a rowing machine pronto. Five hundred for such a tool will be worth it, and even that will be a great investment. An investment for a healthy body and mind indeed and an investment that will be your constant companion for years.

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment