Best Rowing Machines Under $500

“I don’t deserve anything; I have to earn my seat everyday.” – The New York Rower. Rowing requires a committed mindset dedicated to daily improvement to achieve peak performance. While the mental stamina needed for this challenging sport is demanding, the benefits are unparalleled. Unlike many other sports, rowing provides a stimulating full-body workout with minimal joint impact. Rowing machines use up to 86% of their muscles, toning every part of the body while building cardiovascular endurance.

It is more important than ever to look after both your mental and physical health. With unplanned travel restrictions and lockdowns on the rise, planning ahead and having workout equipment at home is an investment in your overall well being. Rowing is a strength movement, combining motion similar to that of a deadlift and a barbell swing, engaging your legs, core, and upper body. While it is an aspirational sport, there is a diverse range of high-quality affordable home rowing machines to choose from. And that’s precisely why it took us weeks to research the market and review the top 10 best rowing machines under $500. They offer lots of value and a decent indoor rowing experience while not breaking your bank. If you don’t have much time to go through all the 10 options, don’t worry, we have you covered. The “editor’s choice” is created for you to narrow it down to 3 home rowers. So, you can immediately see the top three best rowing machines under $500 featuring different resistance systems.

$379.00
$549.00
in stock
5 new from $379.00
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm
Amazon.com
$409.99
$499.99
in stock
2 new from $409.99
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm
Amazon.com
$379.00
$599.00
in stock
4 new from $379.00
2 used from $300.69
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm
Amazon.com
$239.99
$289.99
in stock
2 new from $239.99
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm
Amazon.com
$249.99
$399.00
in stock
3 used from $189.24
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm
Amazon.com
Last updated on August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

Compare The Best Rowing Machines Under $500

Best Rowing Machines Comparison Table
NumberNameResistance
Folding

Bluetooth
Capacity
Frame
1Women's/Men's Health Rower
Magnetic

Yes
Yes250 LBs
Low-Rise
2SereneLife Home Rower
Air and Magnetic
Yes
No
250 LBs
High-Rise
3HouseFit Water Rower
Water
No
No
330 LBs
High-Rise
4Marnur Water Rower
Water

No
No
300 LBs
Low-Rise
5Joroto Magnetic Rower
MagneticYes
No
250 LBs
High-Rise

6Koreyosh Water Rowing Machine
Water

NoNo
330 LBs
Low-Rise

7Marcy Turbine Rowing Machine
Air
YesNo
300 LBs
High-Rise

8Merax Magnetic Rower
Magnetic
NoNo
340 LBs
High-Rise

9MaxKare Water Rower
Water
NoNo
264 LBs
High-Rise
10Sunny Health & Fitness
Magnetic

YesNo
250 LBs
Low-Rise

Editor's Best Rower Choice Under $500!

4.5/5

Water Resistance

Sunny SF-RW5910
$ 500
  • Foldable Frame
  • Natural Sound
  • Bottle and Tablet Holders
5/5

Air Resistance

Marcy NS6050RE
$ 450
  • Dynamic Resistance
  • Low-Maintenance
  • Folding Frame
Best Seller
4.5/5

Magnetic Resistance

Women and Men's Health
$ 450
  • Bluetooth Monitor
  • Silent Resistance
  • Foldable Frame

Top 10 Rowing Machine Picks:

Table of Contents

Women's Health Men's Health Magnetic Rowing Machine

 in stock
5 new from $379.00
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

Enjoy the advantages of using a rower created with a holistic approach to your performance. The Women’s’ Health & Men’s Health Rower with Bluetooth and MyCloudFitness is an affordable, high-quality rower with on-demand classes and app tracking. The rig has 14 levels of resistance, guided classes, and a simple fold-up design for easy storage.

Combining magnetic resistance technology, technical innovation, and increased comfort make this a rower that delivers on performance and the enjoyment of your workout. The machine ensures that there is no downtime with full resistance through the entire movement of your pull.

Adjust to any of the 14 levels of calibrated resistance and easily increase your workout intensity from beginner to advanced and elite athlete. Drive your exercise routine to new heights with the transformative power of this uniquely developed magnetic resistance system combined with muscular pull.

The large LCD SmartPower screen allows you to easily track your performance. The display tracks time, counts, distance, calories, watts, and total count. This modern machine has a 5-inch wide lip to easily place a smartphone or tablet on. 

Unlike other machines in this price range, this rower has Bluetooth integration, which allows you to track your performance on your mobile device. The customized MyCloudFitness app offers Basic Workout Tracking and Activity Reports as ‘Free Forever’ features. Upgrade to their premium offering for $14.99 per month and benefit from tailored programs that include Train on Water with a World Champion or World Tour Ride, to mention a few. 

The slick contemporary design has not neglected comfort. The Magnetic Rower includes numerous features such as an oversized padded and molded seat, padded rowing handle, and textured footplates with adjustable strap to make your row more enjoyable.

This powerful exercise machine weighs only 59 lbs. and measures 80 x 23 x 28.5 inches allowing it to carry a maximum user of 250lbs. Transportation wheels and a foldable design make this rower convenient and portable, perfect for those looking to maximize space efficiency.

Conclusion

This Magnetic Rower is a modern machine that is powered by its seamless integration with technology. The Bluetooth integration and MyCloudFitness app allow any user to track their performance, achieve goals faster, and simply make rowing more fun. It is lightweight with a streamlined design; however, your comfort is well considered. The Magnetic Rower is a great high-tech yet affordable machine, offering variability in workouts, resistance, and intensity for the perfect 2020 home rowing experience at a bargain price.

Pros

Cons

SereneLife Air and Magnetic Home Rowing Machine

 in stock
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

The SereneLife is a light-capacity rower blending traditional air resistance with magnetic tension to create a more dynamic row. Although it is slightly smaller than other machines, the resistance systems still ensure that this machine is great for muscle toning, stamina development, and interval workouts. 

The tension dial at the front of the machine is connected to an internal magnetic brake, which creates a more impactful resistance system. The magnetic brake moves closer to the turning wheel when you rotate the dial. This easily increases rowing tension. Unlike other best rowing machines under $500, the strength you put behind each stroke does not impact the resistance. The cool air generated from your movement is a welcome benefit during a burning workout. 

The adjustable LCD displays up to two metrics at any one time and includes tracks time, distance, count, total count, RPM, and calories burned. Unfortunately, there are no preset workouts, and the display does simple reports stats and has no impact on your workout.

What it lacks in technology integration it makes up for in the design. This machine is almost silent. Noise is created by friction, and there due to the magnetic tension; there is no friction, and the resistance elements do not touch. The pulling handle is highly resistant to abrasion with a heavy-duty nylon strap attached to the dual aluminum frame. The contoured seat is made of high-density foam for a comfortable workout.

This machine is definitely space-savvy and one of the smallest 2020 rowing machines under $500, measuring only 77 x 18 inches, which also means that it can only take users up to 220 lbs. The rower’s rail with the seat can be folded up. With the rail in the folded position, the unit’s floor size is reduced to approx.. 39″ inches.

Conclusion

This machine may be lightweight, but it packs a heavy punch. The dual tension system allows users to maximize their workout with the benefits of both air and magnetic resistance. While the technology may be behind some other best rowing machines under $500, the size and comfortable design make this a great choice in this price category.

Pros

Cons

HouseFit Home Water Resistance Rowing Machine

 in stock
2 new from $409.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

This durable rowing machine has been designed to replicate the real feel of an in-water rowing experience. The resistance, movement, and even the sound delivers a more real row than other resistance types. This water rower under $500 is a medium to high-end machine. It boasts an extremely smooth pull and quiet operations due to a sturdy stainless steel slide rail and no-touch magnetic resistance.

A water tank always adds the sensation of stability to a rowing machine, and the rear stabilizers and floor protectors add to this grounded feeling. With 16 rust-resistant fan blades and a flywheel, you will feel immediate tension. The resistance is driven by these fan blades and the pull on the water mechanism. It is fully adjustable, and six levels of resistance challenge both all levels of rowers from beginner to advanced. 

The fully adjustable LCD display shows the basic stats you need to track your performance like calories burned, time exercised, count, total count, and it automatically moves between these indicators. The adjustable arm allows you to set your screen for perfect visibility. There is a 10.2 inch stand for your iPhone or tablet, which is always a welcome benefit so that you can follow a guided row or stay up to date on current news during your row. 

Enjoy longer row sessions with the added benefit of a larger cushioned seat and ergonomic design with your back and hip support in mind. The anti-slip pivoting foot pads can be adjusted to suit your style of rowing, and the and anti-slip handles promote increased stability.

As with most water rowers under $500, this machine is not foldable but can be stood up for storage purposes. You don’t need to empty the water tank before putting the rower in a standing position. It is, of course, water-resistant and comes with a one-year warranty. This machine has been created with the end-user in mind, and the rock-solid build allows for rowers up to 330Lbs.

Conclusion

When you can’t get on the water, it is obvious that a water rowing machine will be the closest at-home option to getting a ‘real feel’ experience. The design makes this machine feel very sturdy and stable and is the perfect option for larger weight users. However, due to this, it is a heavier and larger machine. The water element does require some maintenance, but it is the same element that will bring you closer to an authentic rowing workout.

Pros

Cons

Marnur Water Resistance Home Rowing Machine

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

A formidable contender in the water rowing machines under $500 category, this option from Marnur is both sleek and durable. Designed for optimum performance with a double-track aluminum structure for added stability. The Marnur Water Rowing Machine is the perfect cardio machine that offers endurance-building and high-energy workouts for every rower at home.

The workout from this machine is reactive, smooth, and powerful due to the engineered water resistance pull that creates clean lag throughout. Test your own performance and increase the tensions by simply adding more water to the tank. The 18L water tank provides the natural resistance you would encounter on the water, and the ease of increasing the level means that your workout will never get stale. As you add more water, you will row against a greater volume of water and tougher overall resistance. 

The team at Marnur has made additional contingencies for ease of maintenance, and this machine comes with a supplementary water pipe. Making it much simpler to replace the clean water through the water pipe and the water injection port. The machine itself is, of course, waterproof. 

The machine has a standard 9-inch LCD monitory which can display. Exercise time, calories burned, rowing frequency, stroke count, actual rowed distance, and distance goal. It is fully adjustable for quick reading.  

Enjoy a comfortable row for your entire workout with an ergonomically designed, contoured foam seat pad. Anti-slip foam covered handles and adjustable foot pedal straps allow you to focus purely on each pull.

The Marnur Water Rowing Machine is an affordable and ergonomic workout choice for any home rower in 2020. Sleek, durable, and designed with optimum performance in mind, the double-track aluminum structure supports a maximum user weight of 300 lbs. Like most water machines under $500, this one does not fold but can easily be stored in a standing position. 

Conclusion

This machine generates a steady and challenging at-home workout. The water-resistant flywheel creates the constant drag you need for consistent performance. The durability and build of this machine make it a fantastic choice in this price bracket, and the additional water injection system is a well-considered benefit to this machine. 

Pros

Cons

Joroto Magnetic Resistance Home Rowing Machine

 in stock
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

A rowing machine under $500 for the modern rower! The Joroto Magnetic Rowing machine delivers a high-intensity streamlined workout, which engages all of your major muscle groups. This performance rower is quiet, ergonomic, and user friendly while challenging rowers of all levels.

The true apex of this rower is its innovative magnetic resistance system. Customized with ten levels of adjustable magnetic tension, this machine can easily adjust to the different needs of any rower, whatever the experience. 

This contemporary product from Joroto has an LED monitor that allows the user to keep track of the time, count, total count, and calorie data to keep you motivated and on pace. There is also a phone holder so that the rower can enjoy guided rows to increase their performance. 

A fantastic advantage of any magnetic rower is the lack of noise. The high-quality solid aluminum flywheel, aluminum slide rail, and no-touch magnetic resistance reduce the overall machine friction, which makes the workout super quiet and more smooth.

Created for performance and an enjoyable row, the seat is molded and padded for extra comfort; the pedals are non-slip with adjustable straps for added security, and the handlebar is softly padded. 

Unlike many best rowing machines under $500, this machine includes a built-in water bottle. This means that you can get set-up for your ride and stay focused for the duration. The ergonomic design has a tiny footprint, occupying less than 0.15 square meters of space when put away in a standing position. 

Conclusion

This is not a highly technical machine. It is a modern, simple rower designed for people who want to row. This aluminum rower is a great machine, but its unassuming design means experienced rowers may eventually grow out of the machine. It is lightweight and takes up very little space making it a fantastic choice for your next at-home rowing machine.

Pros

Cons

Koreyosh Wooden Water Resistance Rowing Machine

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

Unlike the other machines in this price category, this is the only wooden rower. There is something nostalgic and beautiful about the classic design of this machine. This machine offers the closest experience to the joy of rowing on open water in the comfort of your own home.

Koreyosh has not cut corners in this regard as the machine features a dual-rail made of oak wood, with an aesthetic gloss finish. The sturdy double structure holds a maximum user weight of 330lbs.

As you pull the handle, the two-blade impeller spins the water inside the tank creating the pull drag and light yet enjoyable water sound. The resistance is fully dependent on how hard and fast you pull the handlebars. In order to adjust the resistance, you have to add water to the tank; you can not simply turn a knob or press a button. This is old school rowing at its best in the comfort of your home. This motion creates the aforementioned water sound, which most rowers report as an added benefit of a water rower.

The LCD display is touted by Koreyosh as a performance monitor, although this might be a bit of a stretch. The display has all the standard functionality that you would expect of a rower, including time, distance, avg. Speed, strokes (count), strokes per minute (count per minute), and calories burned. However, it does also have a time/500m function and can show multiple metrics at once. 

The Koreyosh rower features a set of adjustable footrests. The adjustable flexible footrests are made of thermoplastic material, and they’re large enough to accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. However, the unit’s footrests are attached to a fixed wooden board, which has an angle of approx. 50 degrees. The seat is made of a thick layer of high-density foam and contoured to provide better positioning. The water rower’s pulling handle consists of a short bar with ergonomic grips. 

Conclusion

This is a beautiful, durable, and challenging at home rower under $500. The oak frame, ergonomics, and large water tank deliver both a comfortable row and a challenging workout. While the monitor does track the most important workout metrics, better technical innovation would elevate this water rower. 

Pros

Cons

Marcy Foldable Turbine Air Resistance Rowing Machine

 in stock
4 new from $379.00
2 used from $300.69
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

Turbine comes from the Greek τύρβη, tyrbē, which means vortex. Essentially the spinning motion of the rotor produces the drag that creates dynamic results for your rowing performance. This turbine rowing machine offers a powerful row in the comfort of your own home. With eight different levels of turbine resistance, you can easily make your row more challenging and move between the tensions drags to customize your workout.

This is a simple machine, and the heavy-duty steel frame has been designed to stand the test of time or the everyday challenges of exercising at home. The air resistance generated by the turbine creates a light breeze as an added benefit of the Marcy system. The eight levels of magnetic resistance are very quiet and deliver a smooth, rowing motion. There is a simple lever mechanism to increase your tension, making it much easier to test yourself during your workout than with other machines in this price range.

The LCD console is very basic and displays time, speed, distance, and calories burned. There are no tailored programs, and you can’t download any information. Similarly, to most of the best rowing machines under $500, there is also no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi integration. However, it does display multiple metrics at the same time, so you are able to have better control over the performance of your workout. 

The durable foam padded seat is large at 15 inches and ergonomically molded for maximum row enjoyment throughout your entire workout. The foot pedals are fully adjustable and include an anti-grip base and straps to keep your shoes secure throughout your row. As an added benefit, it is easily foldable, and the transport wheels make it simple to move and store, requiring minimal floor space thanks to its sleek and uncomplicated frame.

Conclusion

This is a great turbine rower under $500. The simple structure makes this machine easy to set-up and even easier to use. Simply unfold, choose your level and begin rowing. Adjusting your tension control is stress-free, and the ergonomic design ensures an enjoyable row every time.

Pros

Cons

MaxKare Indoor Water Resistance Rowing Machine

 in stock
2 new from $239.99
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

This is a fantastic high-quality water resistance machine for under $500. This MaxKare rower delivers challenging high-intensity workouts that engage with all of your muscle groups. It is a commercial-grade machine that is a worthwhile investment recommended for all levels of rowers and fits neatly into every home. This rower generates powerful workouts that are ergonomic and easy on your joints and body.

You can easily adjust this machine to suit your performance needs by adding water to the tank. The hydro resistance is generated by a flywheel that creates a workout similar to that of real rowing. MaxKare water rowing machine is specially designed to approach the real stroke on water, making your rowing experience more impactful and challenging. Improve your workouts with a challenging race mode. 

Support your training and track data in real-time with the large LCD display. The multi-functional monitor includes stats like time, stroke per minute, distance and calories. This MaxKare rower has a customized Man-machine competitive mode that makes exercise more exciting. 

The footrests and handlebars are ergonomic to help relieve upper body pressure during this intense workout. The wide-set saddle and additional padding aid rowers in protecting their joints, and keeping riders stable throughout their row. 

Weighing a substantial 86 pounds, this rowing machine is sturdy and heavy-duty, allowing it to support users up to 264 lbs. It does not fold but can easily be stored standing up.

Conclusion

This is a sturdy, reliable choice for a water rower under $500. It is built to last and a worthwhile investment that will deliver challenging workouts.

Pros

Cons

Merax Magnetic Resistance Home Rowing Machine

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

The Merax Home Rower is smooth, contemporary, and challenging. In the race of best rowing machines under $500, this machine is a strong competitor. This resistance system is fully magnetic. Unlike water resistance or air resistance rowing machines, there is almost no friction in the movement, which creates a very even row with zero lag and almost no noise. In order to adjust the difficulty, you simply turn the dial; the magnetic brake element changes its position in relation to the internal flywheel, which results in a magnetic field intensity shift, and more or less resistance during rowing. This manual tension system offers eight distinct resistance levels.

Achieve your rowing goals with the adjustable LED display, including the time, stroke, distance, and calories burned, helping. There is an additional ledge for your phone, allowing you to follow a rowing program or simply watch a show for entertainment during your row.

The seat is ergonomic and angled to provide maximum comfort for your row. At the same time, the foot pedals are fully adjustable and slip-resistant to secure and hold your feet. The easy to grip extra padded handlebars assist in reducing any joint friction while delivering a smooth pull consistently.

This is a fairly compact machine while still supporting an impressive user weight of 340lbs. This device is not foldable, but it does come with built-in transportation wheels and can easily be moved to any narrow corner in seconds without wasting time and energy to fold it up. This machine includes a 1-year warranty.

Conclusion

This is a solid choice for a magnetic rower under $500. Its compact structure makes it perfect for home use. It’s sleek design sets this machine apart from its contemporaries.

Pros

Cons

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

 in stock
3 used from $189.24
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of August 3, 2021 8:11 pm

This affordable high-performance machine is one of the most popular rowing machines across all price categories. At the time of review, it was the number one best selling rowing machine on Amazon. Its humble appearance does not allude to the high-intensity workout it delivers. This machine from Sunny Health does not disappoint and offers rowers one of the most challenging programs currently on the market.

The advanced magnetic resistance system offers a smoother, more dynamic row. Control the difficulty of your workout by adjusting the magnetic tension with the simple twist of a dial across. The eight different levels ensure that your workout remains challenging. The magnetic resistance creates very little friction across the machine delivering a very quiet workout.

Maximize your workout by tracking key statistics displayed on the simple digital console. The LCD screen displays calories, row distance, and workout length. The convenient scan mode allows you to focus on your workout.

This machine has all the bases covered with textured foot pedals and adjustable foot straps to comfortable support most shoe sizes. The improved foam grip handlebars boast of preventing calluses and providing comfort.

The heavy-duty steel mainframe is reliable and durable. This is one of the larger and best rowing machines under $500, measuring 82 inches and weighing 59lbs. The additional length supports users of all shapes and sizes up to a maximum weight of 250lbs. This magnetic rower is foldable, and the wheels make it simple to maneuver.

Conclusion

This machine is definitely not the most innovative magnetic rower, nor is it the sleekest design. Why then is it the number 1 selling rower on Amazon? It simply delivers reliable performance and challenging workouts. The ease of storage, coupled with the challenging row and durable structure that this machine delivers, makes this an excellent choice for your next home rower under $500. 

Pros

Cons

A Buyer’s Guide to Rowing Machines

Every rowing machine is as different as each rower’s requirements. It is imperative that you fully understand each product offering’s details and your needs before making a decision. Please take the time to read through our buyer’s guide to fully understand each home rower under $500 better:

Resistance Systems
The resistance system is the core driver behind any home rowing machine. There are three distinct resistance systems. Each with their benefits and disadvantages:

I. Magnetic Resistance

This system utilizes a magnetic breaking system to create a resistant row. The motion itself is smooth and creates no noise. The resistance is often adjustable. These models require little to no maintenance and are very durable due to a lack of friction and sturdy frames.

II. Water Resistance

Many actual rowers prefer this system for the real feel experience it delivers, a realistic rowing motion that mimics and sounds like rowing on water. The tension is determined by the user’s own pull. Adjusting the difficulty can be more challenging and can require adding water to the tank. Due to the more complicated build these machines are typically the highest-priced rowers under $500. They also require more maintenance.

III. Air or Turbine Resistance

Due to this system’s simplicity, it is the most popular, cost effective and often the lightest weight machines. The tension is dictated by the rowers pull, more intensity generates greater resistance. While the rowing machine is smooth and the air system generates fanning for the user it does make more noise than other system

Space Constraints
It is imperative that you calculate the space you have available for a machine. Begin by considering whether the machine will always be set-up or whether you will store it between rows. Due to the structure required for magnetic / air and fan flywheels, these machines typically take up the most space. All rowing machine product descriptions will include the unpacked size and stored size. Use this as a guide to assess which home rower is best suited to your space. If you have to store your machine between sessions it is important to note that water rowing machines are difficult to store vertically, leading to maintenance issues. Many machines are foldable and transport

Affordability
Home rowers have been created across a wide budget scale. It is important to look at this as a worthwhile investment. Choose a machine that meets your budgetary needs and your fitness goals. If you choose a cheaper machine that doesn’t appeal to your workout wants you will use it much less than a more suitable model. In general water resistance machines are on the more expensive end of the spectrum due to the advanced water integration. Magnetic systems are more cost effective solutions with the added benefit of being exceptionally quiet. Air and turbine home rowers are often found in the middle price bracket and very

Digital Monitor
Rowing is performance-based, and a digital monitor allows you to track your performance, adjust the difficult and maximize your workout. Not all digital monitors are created equal and while some may simple display the time others are integrated with apps and elevate your workout with guided rows. The innovation in the machines digital monitor is not always linked to a higher price. Take the time to review the functionality and connectivity in choosing

The Final Verdict

Due to the complete full body workout that rowing offers and the rocketing demand for effective exercise at home the quality and selection of best rowing machines under $500 will continue to develop and grow. Currently there is a wide range of diverse and high quality machines on offer across various resistance systems.

As the end user you have to identify your core needs, from the intensity of your workout to the space you have available, whether noise is a consideration or if you are looking for a ‘real feel’ row. All the machines in our review have been included for their reliable performance, challenging intensity levels and trusted durability.

After careful consideration our top choice for the best home rower is the Women’s Health, Men’s Health Magnetic Rower. With a smooth magnetic system this machines offers a dynamic row that is virtually noise free. This is the only home rower under $500 to include Bluetooth smart technology and free integration with the My Cloud Fitness App. This machine is lightweight, foldable and has transport wheels for ease of storage. It is the perfect machine for a challenging hassle-free home row.