Rowing machines come at different prices, from the very expensive to the affordable ones. In this article, we will be writing about the best rowing machines you can get for $500 or less.
In our former article on the best rowing machines for home use, we stated that it is vital to get a very expensive rower, especially the heavy rowers and commercial purposes. However, for people who only row a few times a week, getting a very expensive product might not be the best option.
Checking many products, we learned that you might not need the most expensive rower to get the best experience, you can also check out some very quality and rowing affordable rowing machines for your home use.
Types of Rowing Machines
A rowing machine is mostly categorized based on their resistance type. These include:
Air Resistance Type
A rowing machine with air resistance mechanisms uses the wind to generate resistance. It contains a flywheel that spins when you row, therefore, the harder you row, the faster the flywheel and more wind intensity is created, thereby leading to more resistance.
Stamina ATS Air Rower: Best under $500 with Air Resistance Mechanism
Water Resistance Type
This works in a similar way to air resistance. Here, the paddle is suspended into the water tank made with the rower, and it spins as you continue to row. The harder and faster you row, the higher the resistance provided. A water rowing machine gives you the feeling of real rowing in the boat as it makes the “whooshing” sound from water.
MaxKare Water Rowing Machine: Best Affordable under $500 Water Rower
Magnetic Resistance Type
You will most definitely see this type everywhere as they are more common than others. The resistance in these rowing machines is created by magnetic brake, so, they can be adjusted to the fitness level of the user. These rowing machines have more quiet operations compared to water and air resistance rowing machines.
Read more: Best magnetic resistance rowing machine
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower SF-RW5515: Best under $500 with Magnetic Resistance
Want a rowing machine for commercial use? We recommend the Concept2 Rowing Machine. The rowing machine is an air resistance mechanism and a good choice for heavy rowers
Top 10 Best Inexpensive Indoor Rowing Machines under $500
#1. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower SF-RW5515
- Resistance Mechanism: Magnetic (8 levels)
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
- 48 inches in slide rail length
- 44 inches in inseam length
- Setup Dimensions: 82L x 19W x 23H inches
- Folded Dimensions: 37L X 19W X 53. 5H inches
This is one of the best inexpensive rowing machines you can get for $500 or less if you need something that is durable and affordable for home use. The rowing machine folds into a compact size which makes it easy to store when it is not in use. It is our top choice for magnetic resistance rowing machines under $500.
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower SF-RW5515 has many features that make it stands out. Having a magnetic resistance type makes it work silently without creating any noise. This resistance can also be adjusted to the user’s fitness thereby making it a useful machine for beginners, intermediate, and expert rowers.
Also, the rowing machine is easy to use and offers maximum comfort with features like a cushioned seat and a contoured handle. It has a long inseam length of 44 inches which makes it a suitable option for both short and tall users. The footrests are big to accommodate your foot size and also have straps to hold your feet properly in place.
#2. MaxKare Water Rowing Machine
- Resistance Type: Water
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 265 pounds
- The material of Construction: Alloy Steel
- Inseam Length: 44 inches
- Product extended dimensions: 78L x 17.3W x 35.4H inches
This is also another lovely product and one of the best inexpensive rowing machines under $500. It is our top choice for water resistance rowing machines under $500 due to its durability, sturdy construction, and positive feedbacks from the previous users of the rower.
Apart from being affordable, MaxKare Water Rowing Machine is easy to put together, use, and offers maximum comfort while rowing. The frame is constructed with alloy steel, carefully put together to ensure strength, requires less maintenance, and lasts for long period.
Its water resistance gives you the feeling of real boat rowing. The rowing machine comes with an LCD that helps you to track your fitness variables like time, SPM (stroke per minute), distance, strokes, and calories. It is very comfortable to use with its padded seat and large footrests that secure your feet in position.
#3. Stamina ATS Air Rower
- Resistance Type: Air
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
- Weight of Rower: 54 pounds
- Assembled dimensions: 18” W x 77” L x 28” H
- Folded dimensions: 18” W x 48” L x 28” H
- Seat height: 10”
- Recommended user height: From 4’ 9” to 6’ 4”
Air resistance rowing machines are the best choice for CrossFit exercise and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and this rowing machine is our top choice for air resistance rower under $500. It is a lovely product that has been reviewed by many users with a large percentage giving a great review.
Stamina ATS Air Rower is strong due to its frame being constructed with a strong material (steel). However, like most of the inexpensive rowing machines, it is not suitable for commercial use. The rowing machine is made to give an effective workout without compromising the comfort of its users.
You can also easily track workout variables like speed, distance, time, and calories burned with its large and easy-to-read LCD. Though it is easy to use, however, some buyers complained about its complexity in putting it together. It’s overall a good buy and definitely one of the best rowing machines you can get for $500 or less.
#4. Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine
- Resistance Mechanism: Magnetic (10 levels)
- Maximum Weight Limit: 300 pounds
- The material of the Frame: Steel
- Product Weight: 1kg
- Up to 10 years warranty on Frame.
We also found this rower to be a great product at an affordable price, thereby making it one of our choices for the best rowing machines under $500. It has a magnetic resistance with 10 levels thereby making it possible to adjust your workout based on your fitness level; a suitable rower for beginners, intermediate and expert rowers.
A 10-year warranty on frame, 3 years on parts, and 1-year labor gives you optimum buying assurance. Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine also ensures the comfort of the user and it is strong enough to hold a user weighing up to 300 pounds.
The rowing machine is suitable for home use as it does not make any noise while in use. Furthermore, you can easily fold the rower into a compact size to ensure easy storage and helps you save more space, especially for those living in small apartments.
#5. Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine – SF-RW5713
- Resistance Mechanism: Water
- Weight Limit: 300 pounds
- Frame Material: Steel
- Slide Rail Inseam: 38 inches
- Assembly Dimension: 80”L x 22”W x 34”H
This is also a product that will give you a smooth and effective rowing experience. It is very affordable and one of the best rowing machines you can get for $500 or less. It has almost the same features as other expensive machines; however, it is more suitable for alternative usage to your expensive one as it cannot handle heavy rowing.
The only downside of Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine – SF-RW5713 is that you cannot fold it to compact size. This might make it a bad choice for folks who do not have enough space to spare for their rowing machines. However, it comes with transport wheels to easily move it from one place to the other.
It is a very strong and durable machine with a well-padded seat to ensure the comfort of the user. Also, it is a good fit for both tall and short people as the inseam length makes it possible for the tall folks to find it fitting. The rower is stable while in use and the feet of the user are stabilized with the foot straps.
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#6. FITNESS REALITY 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine
- Resistance Type: Magnetic
- Product extended dimensions: 88.5″ L x 21.5″ W x 21.5″ H
- Folded dimensions: 39.5” L x 21.5” W x 53.5” H
- Product weight: 63.6 lbs.
- Weight capacity: 250 lbs.
- Recommended user height: 4’9” to 6’6”
- Slide rail length/inseam: 39”
- Seat height range: 9.5” – 12”
- Cushion seat: 13.5” L x 11” W
- Handlebar: 21.5” W | LCD display: 3.5” L
There are smart rowing machines you can get for $500 or a lesser amount and this is one of these products. The rower is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity to enable you to connect it with My Cloud Fitness App and other third-party fitness apps. This will make it even easier to track your workout progress.
FITNESS REALITY 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine has been purchased by many buyers on Amazon who has nothing but positive reviews. We find it to be suitable for home use; not only is it very quiet during operation, but it can also be folded to a compact size for storage and saving space around the home.
It is overall a lovely product you should consider as it offers an effective and comfortable rowing experience. The weight limit is just 250 pounds and people with heavier bodyweight should not consider it. We recommend it for home use or for people who are not heavy rowers.
#7. CIRCUIT FITNESS Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Resistance Mechanism: Magnetic
- Weight Limit: 300 pounds
- Product’s Weight: 90 pounds
- Dimension: 71” L x 20. 5” W x 31. 5” H
- Folded dimension: 49 L x 20.5 W x 51 H inches
- 11 pounds flywheel
This is also a very strong and durable rowing machine and without doubt one of the best rowing machines under $500. It is strong enough to accommodate a user with a weight of 300 pounds, while the inseam length makes it a suitable one for both short and tall people.
Furthermore, to easily track your fitness variables, CIRCUIT FITNESS Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine comes with an LCD screen that displays variables like calories, speed, distance, time, and SPM. You will also enjoy the comforting-design; from padded-seat to foam-covered handle.
The rowing machine is built with stability and convenience in mind. To easily store after each use, you can any fold it into a compact size. Its transport wheel further makes it easier to move from one place to the other within the home. The price goes for less than $500 and it’s one of the best in this category.
#8. MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Resistance Type: Magnetic (16 levels)
- Weight Capacity: 243 pounds
- Slide rail length: 49 inches
- Inseam length: 45 inches
- Multifunctional LCD monitor
- Foldable Design: YES
MaxKare also has a magnetic rowing machine with 16 levels of resistance. With this, you can easily adjust the level to your fitness level, thereby making the product a perfect one for beginners and experts. It also makes it a good choice for a family as everyone can row according to their fitness level.
MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine is made with alloy steel which gives the frame a good strength and makes it sturdy in appearance. However, it cannot hold more than 243 pounds of users’ weight which we consider to be insufficient especially for heavy folks.
However, it is a good product that gives an efficient and smooth rowing experience. The seat is padded and the handle is contoured to evenly distribute the pressure on the hand. It is also recommended for tall people with a height not greater than 6’5”. It is a good product, a great buy for the price, and one of the best inexpensive rowing machines.
#9. Merax Water Rowing Machine
- Resistance Mechanism: Water
- Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
- 20” long handle
- 5” x 10” contoured seat
- Dimensions: 78” x 20” x 25.5”
- Slide rail length: 43.3 inch
- Large LCD monitor
This is one of the compact and folding rowing machines, yet strong and sturdy in construction. It has a weight limit of 330 pounds, enough to easily carry heavyweight people. The rowing machine comes at a very affordable price, under $500, yet gives a good and effective rowing experience.
Merax Water Rowing Machine will give you the feeling of real boat rowing as you get to also enjoy the sound of water. Not only is the machine compact, but it also has transport wheels which makes it easy to move around. The weight of the product may vary according to the quantity of water inside the tank.
The LCD monitor makes it easy to track your fitness as it records variables like calories, time, speed, strokes, distance, and heart rate. Apart from the sound from the water tank, the machine works very quietly. Its seat is well-padded while the handle is ergonomically built, all for the comfort of the user.
#10. SereneLife Rowing Machine
- Resistance Mechanism: Magnetic (8 levels)
- Weight Capacity: 220 pounds
- Weight of Rower: 62.3 pounds
- Folded Dimensions: 39.3”L x 17.7”W x 53.1”H
- Assemble Dimensions: 77.2’’L x 16.1”W x 29.9”H
The rowing machine is worth consideration but not suitable for large people due to its weight capacity. It is recommended for people weighing 220 pounds or less, therefore, we recommend this product for petite people. It is also one of our selected best rowing machines under $500.
SereneLife Rowing Machine is a magnetic resistance rower that features up to 8 levels of resistance to help you adjust the difficulty to your fitness level. It is very easy to use and easily maintain. Furthermore, it is also compact in size and foldable for easy storage which also helps save space perfectly around the home.
It comes with a digital LCD monitor for tracking and displaying your workout variables like the calories burnt, elapsed time, strides, distance, revolutions per minute, and more. The rower is definitely one of the best affordable and inexpensive rowing machines under $500 and we strongly recommend it for petite people.
Who Needs Affordable Rowing Machines?
Getting the best rowing machines under $500 does not necessarily mean you cannot afford the highly expensive ones. You should consider affordable rowing machines if you fall within the following categories:
Frequency of Usage: Not a Heavy Rower
Some do not use their rowers more than 4 times a week and that makes them not necessarily use their rowing machine every day. Therefore, if you will not be making use of it every day, it is more economical to go for something that is a little cheaper especially if you cannot afford the heavy-priced rowers.
The fact is, most people cannot afford the expensive gadget, and going to a fitness center might also be out of the option. You, however, do not need to break your spending limit to get a very effective rowing machine. Therefore, if your budget does not support the expensive ones, you should consider getting one of the best affordable rowing machines under $500.
Most times, the heavy rowers love to get a backup rowing machine. It is for backup and does not make much meaning to spend heavily on it since you already have a more expensive one in your corner. We recommend such people to consider affordable rowers under $500 as a backup rowing machine.
How to Select the Best Inexpensive Rowing Machines under $500
Selecting the best affordable indoor rowing machines requires more caution to select a good quality product. Here are some tips to help you select your new machine:
Previous Buyers’ Review
You need to see what previous buyers are saying about a product and that can be easily gotten from online platforms like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other online shopping platforms. An indoor rowing machine can have all the specifications you want, but, the first-hand experience of a previous user will give you more insight into its durability and other buyers’ experience.
It is vital to ensure that you select a product that is strong enough to hold your weight. Ensure your body weight is lesser than the maximum weight capacity that is recommended by the maker.
Under $500 rowing machines will most likely be used at home as other commercial usages may require expensive rowing machine. It is vital to go for something you can fold for easy storage to save space around the home, especially for those who live in a small apartment.
How comfortable you will feel using any rowing machine depends mostly on the seat and the handle, you need to go for a padded seat and ergonomically contoured handle that will distribute pressure evenly on your hand when you row. Ensure the footpads are also large and equipped with straps to hold them completely in place.
The dimension of the Rower
Does the rowing machine fit you properly? One of the things you should look out for in the dimension is the inseam length. Ensure your height will fit into the inseam length of the machine you are selecting. It is better to select a product with high inseam length especially if you are a tall individual.
Construction & Material of the Frame
This will determine how strong the machine will be. Most rowing machines are built with steel to give them the strength required.
Getting the best rowing machine at lower prices, especially under $500 is vital if you are on a budget. It is vital to get the best value for your money.
We reviewed different rowing machines you can get with $500 or less from the air, water, and magnetic resistance. Stamina ATS Air Rower is our top choice for the best inexpensive air resistance rowing machine under $500.
Water rowing machines are more expensive, however, we find the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine as a good and our top choice for water resistance rowing machine under $500.
Lastly, magnetic resistance rowing machines are quite common, selecting the best might be a little complicated due to numerous products available to select from. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower SF-RW5515 is a product that stands out for us and it’s our top choice under this category.