The 10 Best Rowing Machine Under 500 – Reviews & Guides 2021

Are you searching a budget friendly rowing machine for regular exercise? In this article, we are going to help you pick the best rowing machine under 500.

Looking for a good budget rower? Not all of us can afford expensive equipment, and even if you find one that fits your budget, you have to make some compromises. However, for under 500 dollars, there are some amazing rowing machines that will offer good value.

Indoor rowing is a good activity to add to your fitness regimen because it’s a full-body exercise. Rowing is a low impact exercise program, and that’s probably the main reason why you should buy one.

For example, if you can’t run or jump, and if you have arthritis or achy joints, guess what? You can easily perform this low impact exercise.

And if that low impact sound appealing to you and to your body, have a look at our list of top 10 best home rowing machine that you can buy under 500 dollars.

What Are the Best Budget Rowing Machines Under 500

Top Rowing Machine Under 500 Comparison:

Sunny Health & Fitness MagneticSunny Health & Fitness Magnetic

  • Model: SF-RW5515
  • Resistance: Magnetic
  • Weight: 60.9 Pounds
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Number of Batteries: 2 AAA
  • User Weight: 250 Lbs
  • Dimension: Assembled: 78" x 19.1" x 23.2", Folded: 37.4" X 19.1" X 53.5"
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Stamina ATS AirStamina ATS Air

  • Model: ATS
  • Resistance: Air
  • Weight: 250 Pounds
  • Warranty: 3 Years Frame, 1 Year Parts
  • User Weight: 250 Lbs
  • Dimension: Assembled: 77” x 18.75” x 22”, Folded: 48” x 18.75” x 28”
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Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

  • Model: 1050
  • Resistance: Water
  • Weight: 39 Pounds
  • Material: Steel
  • Warranty: 1 Year Frame, 90 Days Parts
  • User Weight: 250 Lbs
  • Dimension: 58.25" x 42.5" x 18.13"
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Stamina 35-1215 OrbitalStamina 35-1215 Orbital

  • Model: 35-1215
  • Resistance: Dual Piston Hydraulic
  • Weight: 52 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum, Steel
  • Warranty: 5 Years Frame, 90 Days Parts
  • User Weight: 250 Lbs
  • Dimension: Assembled: 48" x 32.5" x 27.75", Folded: 49" x 14" x 7"
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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639

  • Model: SF-RW5639
  • Resistance: Hydraulic Cylinder
  • Weight: 35.8 Pounds
  • Number of Batteries: 2 AAA
  • User Weight: 350 Lb.
  • Dimension: 52.2" x 28.7" x 11.8"
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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205

  • Model: SF-RW1205
  • Resistance: 12 Levels Hydraulic Cylinder
  • Weight: 20.5 Pounds
  • Material: Steel
  • Number of Batteries: 2 AAA
  • User Weight: 220 Lb.
  • Dimension: 54" x 20" x 23"
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Fitness Reality 1000 PlusFitness Reality 1000 Plus

  • Model: 1000 PLUS
  • Resistance: Magnetic
  • Weight: 63.56 Pounds
  • Material: Steel
  • Number of Batteries: 2 AAA
  • User Weight: 250 Lbs
  • Dimension: Assembled: 88.5" x 21.5" x 21.5", Folded: 39.5” x 21.5” x 53.5”
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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5940Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5940

  • Model: SF-RW5940
  • Resistance: Air Plus Magnetic
  • Weight: 81.6 Pounds
  • Material: Steel
  • Number of Batteries: 2 AAA
  • User Weight: 300 Lb.
  • Dimension: Assembled: 94" x 39" x 21.5", Folded: 22" x 39" x 61"
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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5713Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5713

  • Model: SF-RW5713
  • Resistance: Water
  • Weight: 91.9 Pounds
  • Material: Steel
  • Number of Batteries: 2 AAA
  • User Weight: 300 Lb.
  • Dimension: 80" x 22" x 34"
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Circuit Fitness AMZ-979RWCircuit Fitness AMZ-979RW

  • Model: AMZ-979RW
  • Resistance: 8 Levels Magnetic
  • Weight: 72 Pounds
  • Material: Plastic
  • Number of Batteries: 2 AAA
  • User Weight: 300 Lb.
  • Dimension: Assembled: 72" x 19" x 38.5", Folded: 36" X 19" X 53.5"
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Best Rowing Machine Under 500 Doller [Updated Reviews]

Here is a list of some of the best budget rowing machines that should provide good value for the money without making too many compromises.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

A rowing machine comes with a lot of benefits. Much like paddling on a boat, a rowing machine helps you tone and build muscles, improve your cardio, and increase the stamina.

The Sunny Health Rowing Machine is a unique and versatile device that has all the necessities for a fantastic cardiovascular exercise you could wish for. It is a magnetic resistance machine that contains eight different levels of resistance.

You can easily adjust the levels by merely spinning the knob attached to the center panel.

It features a huge LCD monitor. This monitor helps you track time, calories, and total count/ strokes. It runs on battery and can scan data within a few seconds. The whole machine is built with a sturdy and heavy-duty steel frame.

The machine has a very comfortable padded seat and also non-slip handlebars for gripping so you can exercise with ease. Moreover, the foot pedals can fit any shoe size and have flexible straps to help your feet stay firm.

Highlighted Features

  • Has eight different levels of resistance
  • Comfortable seat with strong grip handlebars for ultimate comfort
  • Easy to fold it up and store it
  • Contains wheels for easy transportation

Stamina ATS Air Rower

best rowing machine under 500

Exercising at home is a great way to save money and time. It’s hard to make time for the gym when you’re on a busy schedule. There are lots of machines made for those who want to work out in the privacy and comfort of home.

One such equipment is Stamina ATS Rowing Machine. It is an air resistance machine, so when you pull the handle on the rower, it will cause the flywheel to rotate and produce wind.

The amount of wind created depends on how fast or slow you row. So, the more quickly you row, the more wind you create, and the higher the resistance goes, which in turn makes it hard to row. Therefore, the machine doesn’t have a knob to determine the level of resistance; it is changed according to how hard or slow you row.

It comes with a multi-functional monitor that can be operated with a single button. The monitor contains primary fitness data like time, calories, distance, and speed. It is known for its sturdy and robust frame that is made of solid steel, which has high durability.

Highlighted Features

  • Built with a solid steel frame that is very affordable
  • Comfortable and cozy padded seat
  • Has great and smooth resistance
  • Easy to fold up and move around

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Rowing machines, especially for indoors, have developed a long way, and you can find a variety of solidly built and sleek pieces of workout equipment to improve your cardio.

The Stamina 1050 Rowing Machine is one of the best home rowing machines that provide resistance through a single hydraulic piston which is situated underneath the padded seat.

Hydraulic pistons operate in a straightforward method. It works by turning a knob to close and open a small hole that is inside the piston. The tinier the hole, the more difficult it is for the liquid to flow through the pipe, and this creates a stronger resistance.

The rower includes a multi-operator electronic monitor, which will help you to track your calories, time, and strokes. Moreover, the machine is built of high-quality aluminum core beam and a sturdy steel frame.

It also features a comfortable seat constructed of plastic and handles bars with a secure, padded grip to hold it with ease. Furthermore, the machine is quite easy to store.

Highlighted Features

  • It has a substantial and sturdy construction
  • Has a built-in multi-functional monitor
  • Flexible resistance to adapt to different levels
  • Easy to store and carry around

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

With the ever-growing disease of obesity around the world, it is vital to keep one’s body and mind in shape. However, it seems to be challenging to cut out a specific time to go to the gym every day; therefore, having a home workout equipment is the perfect way to stay healthy and fit.

The Stamina 35-1215 Rowing Machine is a versatile device that comes with many brilliant features. It runs on hydraulic piston resistance, with not one but two pistons of hydraulic one on each handle to provide resistance to the machine.

The process is quite easy to break down; pistons are filled with hydraulic liquid that travels between the two chambers, and its resistance is decided by the size of the hole and how large it is for the fluid to pass by to reach the other chamber.

One of the brilliant features of this machine is its free motion arms. These arms will allow you to pull it back at any angle to create a flexible rowing motion. It has a thick and soft padded seat with foam grip handles to provide ultimate comfort.

Highlighted Features

  • It has a reliable and robust frame structure
  • The rower has a versatile hydraulic piston system
  • Includes a cozy padded seat and foam grip handles
  • The motion arms can be moved to any angle

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine

It’s a challenge to find a fitness machine that can provide you with a full-body workout other than a rower. The rower is versatile equipment through which you can work on both the lower and upper body within the same time.

Like most equipment, the Sunny Fitness Rowing Machine is a hydraulic piston resistance device, which means its resistance is determined by a lone piston, which is situated under-seat rail.

So, when you move the rowing arms on the machine, the hydraulic fluid goes into the piston, which creates resistance. One of the benefits of having this type of resistance is its silence. You can work out in peace without causing any disturbance.

The machine includes an LCD monitor that tracks the count, total count/strokes, time, and calories. It also contains a scan mode that scans each data every 6 seconds. Moreover, the rower has a strong and sturdy built of a steel frame.

While rowing, comfort is the essential element, and the padded seat and the non-slip grip arms provide the ultimate satisfaction. It also includes foot straps for a secure hold of the feet while you’re on the machine.

Highlighted Features

  • 12 different levels of resistance
  • Very affordable and sturdy
  • A soft and comfy padded seat
  • Has strong grip handles and foot straps

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Rower

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Rower

There are several indoor workout equipments for cardio, but a rowing machine is one of the best choices for improving your cardiovascular activity. You can also perform a full-body workout on this machine.

The Sunny Fitness Rower is a brilliant rowing machine that is compact, lightweight, quiet and has a lot of amazing features to give you optimal comfort. It runs on an adjustable hydraulic piston resistant. You can quickly turn the knob to decrease or increase the resistance.

The machine is made of a high-quality steel frame, so you don’t have to worry about it creaking or wobbling while you use it. It also has rubber caps underneath the frame, which protects the floors from being scratched.

Furthermore, the machine has an LCD monitor that checks up on things like time, calories, scan, and total counts/strokes. It has a padded seat and soft-grip handles, which provide the utmost comfort. The soft grip will allow you to hold the handle with ease and also prevent from causing blisters.

Highlighted Features

  • Easy to use and very suitable for beginners
  • It is built of sturdy and stable steel frame
  • Has a flexible resistance with 12 different levels
  • Includes soft padded seat and grip handles

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine

Nowadays, the rowing machine is being developed and continuously innovated according to consumer preferences. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, then you must have a device that can give you a full-body workout in the safety and privacy of your home.

The Fitness Reality Rowing Machine is among the top innovative machines in the market. This rower uses magnetic resistance, so the resistance is determined by moving the magnet farther or closer from a flywheel of metal.

Unlike other machines, this rower offers 14 different levels of resistance. Another brilliant feature is that you can perform several additional exercises on it, such as shrugs, upright rows, triceps extensions, and many more.

Other than an LCD monitor, the machine also has a Bluetooth smart fitness feature that can be synced with the “MyCloudFitness” app. So, you don’t even need to use the monitor if you have a smartphone since all the information will be displayed on your phone.

The machine has an extra-wide seat as well as large handlebars that will give you the ultimate comfort and flexibility while using it. It has built-in wheels for easy transportation and takes a minute to fold the seat rail.

Highlighted Features

  • It can perform additional exercises
  • Strong and sturdy built.
  • Extra-wide seat and grip handles
  • It includes Bluetooth smart fitness feature

Sunny Air Rower Rowing Machine

Sunny Air Rower Rowing Machine

It has become somewhat of a necessity to maintain one’s health because it is something that takes precedence over everything else. To keep yourself in shape, you need to exercise regularly, and what better way to do that than having an indoor workout machine.

If you want a piece of affordable equipment that has some innovative features, then the Sunny Air Rower Machine is for you. This machine is extremely lightweight and made of sturdy and reliable construction. Therefore, you can perform a full-body workout in the privacy of your home for as long as you like.

The machine contains three air blades to provide a realistic motion and give you an impression of being resisted by air. It increases its brilliant response resistance according to the stroke speed and power.

Moreover, the machine has a comfortable and soft cushioned seat as well as non-slip handles for gripping. Along with these, it includes an automated fitness meter to keep track of your calories, time, full strokes, and temperature.

Highlighted Features

  • It has a comfortable padded seat with non-slip grip
  • Includes wheels for easy transportation
  • It has an automated fitness meter to track time, calories, and many more
  • Lightweight and sturdy design for long-lasting durability

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine

According to health professionals and experts, rowing machines are the perfect equipment that offers the ultimate workout. The rower keeps the majority of the muscles active while exercising to help you get the toned and fit body that you want.

With the strong and sturdy Sunny Water Rowing Machine, you’ll be able to achieve your dream. It is a water resistance equipment that is operated by pulling on the handle to spin the paddles that are suspended in a water container.

The three paddles are made of stainless-steel hydro blades that move smoothly and efficiently to provide energetic resistance. It also includes a brilliant R2 fitness meter that can track your workout information such as total time, total strokes, calories, distance, temperature, and heart rate.

Furthermore, it has a sturdy and reliable steel construction that is known for its durability. The water container is made of robust polycarbonate plastic. So, there will be no issues of leaking or cracking.

The machine has a molded soft seat that will bring you comfort on a long rowing session. Its handles are non-slip and resistant to sweat.

Highlighted Features

  • Made of high quality and sturdy steel material
  • Has three stainless steel blades for easy rowing
  • It contains a sturdy and robust water tank
  • Includes a versatile fitness meter

Circuit Fitness Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

Circuit Fitness Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine

Purchasing a rowing machine can be one of the best choices you make. But before buying one, you have to consider several factors. The device must be according to your budget and have all the features that you’re looking for.

The Circuit Fitness Rowing Machine is a new and innovative rower with a magnetic resistance mechanism. Since it’s a manual resistance system, it is operated by the magnetic brake, which is linked to a tension lever at the front unit by a cable.

So, when you move the lever down, the brake travels closer to the flywheel inside and increases the resistance. The machine included an exercise meter that tracks essentials such as time, total strokes, strokes per minute, calories, distance, and many more.

Furthermore, the machine provides the ultimate comfort with its high-density foam seat. It is injected with mold and a contoured covering. The chair has anti-slip material to prevent you from sliding off and also has rubber grip handles for an easy and smooth workout.

Highlighted Features

  • It has a durable and robust construction
  • The seat is made of high-density foam to provide optimal comfort
  • It includes a multi-functional exercise meter
  • Also, it features a sturdy manual resistance mechanism

Things to Know Before Choosing the Best Rowing Machine Under 500

Indoor rowing machines have exploded in popularity in the past couple of years. A lot of different companies are coming up with their own take on this machine.

And that’s why it’s understandably confusing when you are considering buying a rowing machine because there are so many different models out there covering a wide range of price and size.

Speaking of price, since you are reading this, that means you are not willing to spend more than 500 dollars, which might make things more complicated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good rower in this price range.

Let us help you sort through all of these and guide you to the best home rowing machine that you can buy for your budget. Before I get to that, I’m going to be ignoring the price factor because we are on a tight budget.

With that being said, let’s have a look at what other factors come into play when selecting a budget rower.

Brand Reputation

Before you pick one, make sure to check the company and the product itself. You should consider the length of time the manufacturer has been around as well as the release date of the product.

You should also consider the reputation of the brand. The reason why I mentioned the release date because you need to know if the product has been tested long enough.

Because with every fitness equipment, you need to give it enough time to determine whether if it’s a quality product or not.


Size refers to the dimension of the product. This will tell you how long the product is and if it’s something that will be a good fit for you or not. You can find that easily on the product page.

It is important to measure out the product and the area where you will be putting it. This is to give you an idea of how well the rowing machine will fit in your house or wherever you want to put it.

For storing purpose, if you want to store it vertically, use a tape measure and see if you have enough space inside your house to store that fitness equipment.

Weight of The Product

This is just for shipping purposes. You don’t want to carry a multi-hundred pounds of box up eight flights of stairs. This will also determine how easy it is to store the machine.

Noise Level

Do you really need to be worrying about the noise your rowing machine makes? This will vary from person to person. But for those of you that live in a small apartment with a lot of neighbors, you have to keep it down.

You don’t want a loud machine that will cause a nuisance for the people living on the other side of the wall. If noise isn’t a factor, you don’t even need to consider it.


If something breaks, you need to ensure that you have easy access to replacement parts. Which also includes support material such as repair videos, customer support, warranty, replacement parts availability, etc.


There are two different resistance models, progressive and fixed. It has to be one of the most influential decision because both of them have their pros cons. Progressive resistance models are your typical air and water rowers.

Meaning, there are no specific settings for the amount of resistance you will get. The harder you row, the more resistance the machine produces. Fixed resistance rowing machines are either elastic cord rowers or magnetic rowers.

Build Quality

Try to pick a model that will easily last for 3-5 years. They will need some sort of maintenance from time to time, but in general, the peak performance should at least three years.

This is where you should make a little sacrifice because machines that are under 500 dollars don’t have that top-notch build quality. That being said, they should still serve you a lot if you take care of them properly.

Make sure to buy a machine with a sturdy frame and quality materials. Check the reviews to find one that has fewer negative feedback.

Final Thoughts

Just because you have a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t own a rowing machine. Sure, there are top tier models, but for home use, you can easily get by with a budget rower.

With that being said, it’s important to find that sweet spot between price and value, and this guide should help you narrow down your search. Hopefully, you have found what you were looking for in this list of best rowing machines under 500.

About Freddie Clemmer

Freddie Clemmer is a fitness enthusiast and is a personal trainer, life coach, blogger, and triathlete living in Santa Barbara, California. He is an expert on different types of fitness machine and exercise methods. In his free time, he loves to travel. His mission is to share all the fitness methods and tips through blogging. His vision is a world where daily acts of self-love and care are a regular part of life.