Best Rowing Machines Under 500 – Row Into Shape For Less

If you’re looking for the best rowers under $500, then we’ve got you covered! We’ll be taking a deep dive into these incredible machines – from the top ten budget home rowers under $500 to the different factors you should consider when purchasing your own.

But first, why exactly should your home have a rowing machine?

Good rowing machines are arguably one of the most effective pieces of fitness equipment out there, thanks to their ability to give you the full-body workout that you want. Engaging all the different major muscle groups isn’t difficult at all on a rower, which allows you to exercise both your upper and lower bodies simultaneously. Additionally, they’re incredibly reliable, too, able to give you a great and efficient workout session without heavily affecting your joints and knees, unlike other exercise machines.

Because of this, these nifty machines are increasingly found in home gyms across the world, and the industry is filled to the brim with companies claiming that their model is the best one yet.

This plethora of options at your fingertips understandably makes you feel a bit confused and intimidated about which one to go for. Rowing machines may seem simple and straightforward at first glance; however, they come with a whole host of features and unique designs that should be taken note of when purchasing your very first one. Unfortunately, many people – especially inexperienced ones and those new to this workout regimen – end up choosing the wrong type of machine, which not only puts them off rowing but also puts risks their health and safety.

If you’re in the market for a rowing machine, then here are the ten best home rowers under $500. And if you are willing to spend a bit more, check out our guide to the best air rowing machines under $1000.

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The Best Rowing Machines Under $500

SereneLife Home Rowing Machine – Air and Magnetic

Considered to be one of the best and most cost-effective indoor rowing machines under $500 in the market, this air and magnetic rower from SereneLife is made from durable, steel metal alloy that can withstand intense fitness routines and prolonged use. It also features up to ten levels of resistance, which means that you can adjust your workout to fit your skill level and stamina, as well as your fitness goals. The company also has a limited one-year warranty, which is undoubtedly an incredibly useful feature.

To say that this rowing machine is powerful would be an understatement. For one thing, it can hold weights up to 250lb, making it suitable for all sizes. For another, it has been designed with the latest industry technology that allows it to measure time, distance, strides, and calories burned in real-time, helping you remain on track with your regimen.

For those of you in the market for a magnetic home rower under $500, then this particular one from SereneLife would definitely be your best bet. However, keep in mind that the machine is composed of a lot of tiny parts, which means that assembly may be a little rough, especially if you’re inexperienced.

Its resistance levels can be relatively easy, too, for advanced or intermediate rowers. While this is the best home rower under $500 for beginners and those looking to get into this incredible workout routine, more experienced individuals might want to go for a different model.

HouseFit Water Rowing Machine

If you’re looking for a water rower for home under $500, then you won’t get wrong with this particular model from HouseFit! Its ergonomic and solid design ensures your safety, thanks to the unique floor stabilizers that secures the machine even if it’s placed on rough and uneven surfaces. More than that, it boasts of a 300lbs weight capacity, giving it a rock-solid build capable of withstanding those who tend to row with strong, powerful, and vigorous strokes. While it can be easily stashed away when not in use, do keep in mind that HouseFit recommends that this rower be kept indoors while in storage, in an environment where the temperature is less than 90ªF.

The brand created this particular model with a high-quality steel-covered slide rail, as well as a no-touch magnetic resistance, both of which make your workout smoother and more streamlined. Not only does this take your routine to the next level, but it also ensures that you’re able to build your stamina without over-exertion or risking muscle fatigue. It goes without saying that this is the best type of rowing machine there is!

The machine does have a few drawbacks, though. Its restraining straps are a pain to put on and remove, which can prove to be tricky for some users. The velcro, too, has received mixed feedback, with some claiming that it lacks hold while others praise its durability and strength.

However, its most significant disadvantage would be its lack of wheels, making it rather difficult and taxing to move, especially if the tank has already been filled with water. Those of you who foresee themselves constantly adjusting the location of their machine should be prepared to constantly drain and refill the barrel.

MARNUR Water Rowing Machine for Home

Another incredible water rower for home under 500, this particular model from the iconic brand, MARNUR, has a whole slew of great features, all of which are geared towards helping you achieve your fitness goals. One of its best attributes is its adjustable foot pedals, which can alternate between six levels and are suitable for different age groups. Yes, that’s right – the entire family can use this home rower with ease! Its double-track aluminum structure also means that it can be used both indoors and outdoors, thanks to the porting wheels lining its bottom.

Additionally, its ergonomically-designed seat is a dream come true for those who often find their gym rowing machines difficult to sit in. In contrast to those pesky and uncomfortable chairs, this particular one was developed to closely fit your hip curve, which means that you don’t have to constantly adjust your position while in the middle of your workout routine.

The assembly process is a tad complicated, though, so be prepared to spend more than a few hours building this machine. Customers have also complained about certain pieces and screws not fitting properly into their designated holes so having several spare ones in various sizes is highly recommended.

The digital watch can be finicky, too, prone to suddenly shutting down whenever it’s accidentally jostled or bumped into. A few customers stated that they were forced to write to the company to request for a replacement screen after theirs stopped working, so that’s something that you should definitely take note of if you’re considering purchasing this machine.

JOROTO Magnetic Rowing Machine

Without a doubt, those who prefer air magnetic rowing machines will find this model from JOROTO to their liking! It features ten different levels of magnetic tension, ranging from a gentle exercise of the heart and lungs to a high-intensity workout that will certainly strengthen your muscles. Its LCD tracking monitor also comes with a holder that can fit either your iPhone or your iPad, allowing you to keep up with your current Netflix binge as you strive to reach your goals.

The biggest advantage of this magnetic rower under $1000, however, is its portability and ease of storage. Unlike other budget home rowers under 500, this particular model can be easily folded up and put away when not in use, making it ideal for those with limited spaces in their homes. Even its monitor can be easily tucked away without putting its display screen at risk of damage.

But ease of storage does mean that the frame is rather flimsy and light, putting it at risk of getting dented or otherwise damaged when not properly taken care of. Extreme caution must be taken whenever this machine is folded and stored away.

Its LCD monitor is also a sore point for some customers, with complaints about its poor and inaccurate tracking, as well as its mediocre display. If this is a dealbreaker for you, then you’d better go for another air magnetic rowing machine instead.

Koreyosh Water Rowing Machine

One of the biggest selling points of this indoor water rower is its foldability feature, allowing users to simply lift it on its end, making for easier storage and more space saved. It also has transport wheels, which means that it can be taken around your home and placed wherever you feel comfortable exercising.

This foldable rowing machine’s incredible ergonomic design also sets it apart from the rest of the competition. For instance, its U-shape seat fits your posterior perfectly, allowing for a secure and pleasant work-out. Its large foot pedals, combined with easy-to-grip handles, both add to the experience.

Similar to other budget home rowers under $500, though, this machine is rather complicated to assemble, due to the unclear instructions provided by the brand. Customers have also reported missing parts and screws that don’t match their designated holes, which is undoubtedly a pretty big downside.

You may also feel a bit apprehensive about how some buyer reviews claim that the machine’s pulleys arrived damaged and unusable. This may be the best exercise rower under $500, but be prepared to reach out to customer service, in the event that you receive broken parts. The brand’s customer service also leaves a lot to be desired; not a lot of information regarding the machine’s warranty is known and their support team has been reportedly hard to reach.

Marcy Foldable Turbine Rower

With eight levels of resistance that go from easy and beginner-friendly to intense, this air rowing machine under $500, is undoubtedly one of the best in the market. It also comes with an incredible built-in computer display panel that monitors your speed, distance, time, calories burned, and rows per minute, helping you gain insight into the intensity of your workout routine, as well as whether you’re doing enough to reach your workout goals.

To add to those slew of advantages, this particular machine also features an injection-molded seat that allows you to exercise comfortably without worrying about the stability of your position. Its high-quality solid steel frame also ensures many years of reliable use. Moreover, its computer display panel allows the user to easily monitor their speed, distance, time, calories burned, and rows per minute. It also comes with a two-year limited manufacture warranty that covers replacement parts – a feature that would certainly be a huge plus for those looking into purchasing this model.

Its solid frame, though, means that the machine is bulky and difficult to disassemble, which is definitely a massive drawback for those who have limited free space in their homes.

Numerous complaints have also been made about the machine’s turbines, which some claim to be loud, distracting, and a detriment to their workout routines. Naturally, the racket they make can prove to be distracting to those who prefer exercising without headphones plugged into their ears.

Merax Home Rowing Machine

The eight-level resistance selection that provides a great range of aerobic and endurance exercises makes this rowing machine from Merax one of the best exercise rowers under $500. This variety of difficulty levels – with a total of eight levels of adjustable tension resistance – allows you to test your skills and build up your muscles. Besides that, it also means that it can be used by practically anyone, beginners and intermediate rowers alike.

This machine has also been designed with enhanced safety features in mind. For instance, its adjustable foot pedals are made with a special kind of material that provides a solid hold, securing your feet even when you get to the intense parts of your workout routine and more so if you are wearing a good pair of rowing shoes. Its easy-to-grip handlebar also comes with extra padding, helping your elbows and arms consistently maintain a suitable form for efficient, healthy, and targeted muscle building, especially if used wearing a pair of rowing gloves. More than that, though, many love the machine’s relative silence; designed with an aluminum rail combined with commercial-grade plastic gliding mount, this rower has a consistent and smooth sliding action that doesn’t noise at all, allowing you to enjoy your workout routine without fear of disturbing others.

There aren’t many disadvantages to this particular machine, which is why many consider it to be the best home rower under $500. Similar to other models, though, it can be tough to assemble, especially for those who aren’t used to putting fitness equipment together.

However, its main drawback is the company’s lack of customer support. Buyers have reported having to go through a long and complicated process just to get a few inquiries answered while a few claim that they’ve given up trying to get a damaged part replaced. While this snag technically doesn’t have anything to do with the machine itself, it does come part and parcel with it. After all, are you prepared to hunt down specific screws across multiple hardware stores if your purchase comes with missing or mismatched ones?

MaxKare Water Rowing Machine

This particular machine was specially designed to mimic real strokes on water, which makes your workout more challenging and seem much more real. If you’re an outdoor rower forced to transition indoors, then having this in your backyard would definitely take you on a trip down memory lane! Its large LCD monitor is no joke, either, tracking your all relevant fitness data and equipped with a man-machine competitive mode that’s bound to make your fitness regimen way more interesting.

Its durability and ergonomic design also make this particular machine one of the best water rowers for home under $500. Its steel frame makes it sturdy and reliable, able to withstand your most intense workout while its pulleys and support point allows for easy portability and upright storage when not in use. The company also offers a 30-day refund or replace if the machine is damaged in any way, shape, or form while en route to its designated delivery location. In addition to that, a two-year free warranty is also offered, so you won’t have to resort to buying parts from any unreliable third-party sellers.

However, the machine tends to leak water when stored upright, which can cause damage to your floors and furniture, if not taken care of at once. This means that the tank has to be secured with caulking or the like, and if you’re not prepared to carry out this small DIY project, then perhaps you’d be better off purchasing a different model or adding to your home gym equipment a good mat for under the rowing machine.

The accompanying computer screen reportedly reflects inaccurate data, too, with some customers claiming that their stroke counts and calories burned were way off the mark. This disadvantage may be due to the fact that the device’s wires are exposed and unprotected, putting it at risk of getting damaged either during shipping or the assembly process.

MaxKare Air Rowing Machine

An incredible air magnetic rowing machine under 500, this particular model from MaxKare comes with their unique Twin Drive Belt System, which provides strong and powerful resistance that will satisfy even the most experienced of rowers. Its starting base resistance of six also means that this machine is significantly more challenging than other machines in the market, perfect for great strength and resistance workout that will surely put your skills to the test. Alongside these great features is the machine’s incredible digital monitor that tracks relevant workout statistics and has space enough to fit your iPad, so you can watch your favorite film while you row.

One of the top air rowers for under $500, this machine is made of a steel mainframe combined with a specially-designed triangular structure that guarantees its stability and durability. With a maximum capacity of 264lbs, it can withstand whatever intense workout you throw at it. Despite its seemingly bulky frame, though, this model is compact and foldable, allowing you to save space in your home. Moreover, its pulley system enables you to move it anywhere you want, which is particularly significant for those prone to tweaking their work-out routines from time to time.

Still, its main disadvantage is its design; the seat can be somewhat uncomfortable, especially for larger people, while the foot pedals offer little to no support. Those who don’t have a conventional frame may find it challenging to secure themselves on the machine as they move through their regimen.

Using this model to carry out interval training is also rather challenging, if not downright impossible, due to its intense resistance levels. Customers have found it difficult to switch between the available options, and doing so takes some getting used to. While this particular machine is considered to be one of the best budget home rowers under $500, it definitely comes with a steep learning curve.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rower

The main highlight of this air magnetic rowing machine is its extra-long slide rail, which is longer compared to those found on other models in the market, allowing it to accommodate a diverse range of users, no matter their height and arm reach. Its adjustable magnetic resistance is also straightforward to use, helping you alternate between eight varying difficulty levels with a simple twist of the knob.

Its textured non-slip foot pedals also make for a secure and more comfortable work-out session while its foam-grip handlebars reduce the risk of your hands forming blisters and calluses. Both of these features provide an overall pleasant experience as you row, which means that you can actually enjoy your exercise session, however long it takes. Besides these incredible features, this magnetic rowing machine also has a large digital monitor that displays your time, count, and calories, which all help you stay on top of your fitness goals. Its transportation wheels also make for easy portability and storage, ensuring that you can stash it away without straining your muscles.

However, this great magnetic rowing machine under $500 is reportedly prone to creaks and squeaks, requiring constant lubrication, especially for those who boast of intense workouts. These irksome sounds can be a huge deal-breaker for some customers, particularly those who prefer to row in a peaceful and relaxing environment.

The computer display is also poor, often inaccurately tracking your progress and showing stats that definitely don’t match your routine. Understandably, this may just be due to a few defective units here and there; however, it’s best to keep this in mind if you’re looking to purchase this machine.

A Buying Guide For Your First Home Rower Under $500

Now that we’ve gone through the top ten best home rowing machines under $500, you’re probably more than ready to buy one of your own. But how do you know which model to go for?

Should you try an air rowing machine or stick to the usual water rower? More importantly, how do you know what range of resistance levels would be ideal for your very first machine?

Well, here are a few factors that you should take into consideration when choosing an indoor rowing machine under $500.

Resistance Types

By now, you’ve probably noticed that rowing machines have different types of resistance systems, with the primary ones being air, water, and magnetic. Each one of these has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that will either work in your favor or against it.

Air resistance rowers give a smooth, natural rowing stroke, making it the perfect machine for those new to this workout regimen. Commonly found in fitness centers and gyms, this beginner-friendly machine automatically adjusts its tension level to the user’s pace and stroke intensity. However, they tend to produce a lot of noise, which can be detrimental to those easily distracted while exercising.

Water resistance rowers are the most efficient iterations available, providing users with the realistic sensation of rowing on an actual body of water. Beloved by those who have transitioned from outdoor rowing, these machines are also quiet and make only a gentle swishing sound that many find to be soothing. Despite their durability, these machines are way more expensive than other models.

Magnetic resistance rowers are perhaps the most affordable in the market, providing smooth and natural strokes without compromising their level of resistance. They’re also extremely durable and don’t require a lot of upkeep.

Amount of Space

Naturally, the amount of space you have available should be at the forefront of your mind when selecting an indoor home rower. Unless you have a large, personal home gym, that is!

Keep in mind that you should have enough room for your hands and arms to move freely as you row. Take note of your desired workout space’s dimensions and work out which size machine would best fit into the designated area. If you don’t have a lot of space, then rowers that are compact and can be folded up are highly recommended.

If you’re taller than the average person, then you should definitely look into machines that have longer seat rails, which provide you with more space to extend your legs while rowing. Not only will this design ensure that you maintain the proper form throughout your workout session, but it will also secure you to the machine, reducing the risk of you suddenly falling off as you try to re-adjust your position on the seat.

Fitness Goals

Besides the design and make of the machine, your fitness goals also have to be taken into account when choosing the best type of rowing machine for you. For instance, if you’re a newbie at this workout regimen, then going for an air resistance machine would be ideal. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced rower wishing to take your skills to the next level, then the high-intensity workouts that a water resistance machine provides would be right up your alley.

Additionally, the number of people using the machine should also be considered. Opt for bulkier, durable, and sturdier rowers if the entire family will be using the machine to practice their strokes. Conversely, you may want to opt for a more affordable and lightweight model if you’ll be the only one using the machine.

Other Features

Rowing machines come with a lot of other features that may or may not play a role in your workout regimen. For instance, some models feature a stand for your smartphones or tablets; if you’re the type of person who enjoys a movie or two while exercising, then this one would definitely be for you.

The height of the seat, as well as the handlebars, should all be carefully considered, as well. If you’re tall or have mobility issues, then a low seat would be to your detriment, and you might find yourself unwittingly compromising your form. The ideal machine would also have padded and easy-to-grip handlebars to provide comfort throughout your workout regimen.

Final Verdict

Once you’ve taken all these factors into consideration, you’re sure to arrive at the best rowing machine under $500 that would be an excellent fit for your lifestyle, current circumstances, and personal fitness goals.

The machines included in this guide may all be budget-friendly rowers; however, you should still consider these machines as an investment, which is why proper thought and research must be done before finalizing your purchase. And if you are willing to spend a bit more, you can also check out the top water rowing machines under $1000.

Happy rowing!

Fitness Elan