9 Best Rowing Machines under $500 [2023]

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Welcome to my guide to the best rowing machines under 500 dollars.

Rowing machines are a great way to get fit at home since they offer full-body workouts that engage multiple muscle groups at once.

They are also incredibly space-efficient, making them perfect even for smaller home setups. And the cherry on top? They can be surprisingly affordable!

Now, in a world where everything seems to be getting more expensive, affordability becomes a top priority.

If you’re on the lookout for a high-quality rower that fits your $500 budget, I’ve got some great news for you: there are plenty of excellent options available.

But I know it can be overwhelming to navigate through all the choices. That’s why I’m here to lend a helping hand.

In this guide to the best rowing machines under $500, I’ll not only share my top picks for rowers in the $500 range, but I’ll also walk you through the different specifications and features you should consider when comparing machines.

So, without further ado let’s check out some of the top rowers for $500 or under (some of them are quite a lot less than $500).

Best Rowers for Under $500: Our Top Picks

Best Rowing Machine under $500: Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower (check price at Amazon)

Best Rower for under $500 Runner-Up: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 (check price)

Best Water Rower for under $500: JOROTO MR280 Water Rowing Machine (See price at Amazon)

Best Rowing Machine Under $500 Review

Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower

One of the top magnetic rowers under $500 is the Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower. If you’re after a simple and effective machine without the bells and whistles of a smart rower, then the Avari is definitely worth considering.

The Avari is a purely magnetic rower, meaning it’s quiet and smooth to operate without the need for water tanks or dampers.

It also comes with 12 workout programs, giving you plenty of options to tailor your workout to your fitness level.

The Avari’s monitor is basic but displays all the essential workout metrics and lets you know which workout you’re currently doing. The machine can be folded for easy storage and has a maximum user weight capacity of 275 lbs.

One pleasant surprise with this magnetic resistance rower is that it comes with a chest strap heart rate monitor included, along with a program that automatically adjusts the resistance to keep you in your desired heart rate zone.

While the warranty is a little short, it’s not a bad deal for the price.

Intermediate and beginner rowers looking for a cost-effective addition to their home gym will find the Avari to be a great option, although advanced rowers may want to consider a more powerful machine.

Overall, if you’re in the market for an affordable rower that still delivers a solid workout, the Stamina Avari is definitely one of the best options out there.

Stamina ATS Air Rower

One of my favorite rowers for under $500 is the Stamina ATS Air Rower.

While it may not be as flashy as some more expensive rowers, the simplicity of this machine is a huge selling point.

With air rowing, increasing resistance is as easy as pulling harder – no need to fumble with buttons mid-row.

The padded seat and smooth gliding track make for a comfortable workout experience, while the steel frame provides stability during even the most intense sessions.

The Stamina ATS comes equipped with a basic monitor that tracks all the essentials – speed, calories, time, and distance.

While the weight limit of 250 lb may not be suitable for larger users, this rower is a great option for beginners or moderate rowers looking to get a solid workout without breaking the bank.

All in all, the Stamina ATS Air Rower provides quality air rowing at a price that won’t leave you gasping for air. It’s definitely one of the best rowers you can buy for under $500.

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge

If you are on a budget but still want to get a quality rowing machine then Sunny Health & Fitness is a brand to look out for.

SHF has a great reputation for offering affordable fitness equipment, and their selection of cardio machines is vast – most of which cost under $1,000.

But let me tell you about one of my personal favorites: the Obsidian Surge water rower.

This machine not only has a cool name, but it also boasts impressive specs for a water rower that costs under $500.

Unlike magnetic rowers, there are no resistance levels to fumble with. The resistance depends solely on your rowing speed, making it straightforward and easy to use.

Plus, the Obsidian Surge has a weight limit of 300 pounds, ensuring that most rowers can safely use it, and it can be conveniently stored vertically between workouts.

But that’s not all. The rower comes with a simple LCD console that can track all the basic workout metrics and has 15 built-in programs. And let’s not forget about its sleek appearance. This rower is not only functional, but it’s also a real eye-catcher.

The only downside I see is that Sunny’s warranty could be longer (3 years for the frame and 6 months for parts). However, that’s a small price to pay for such an excellent machine at an affordable price point.

In summary, if you want a great water rowing machine for under $500, the Obsidian Surge by Sunny Health & Fitness is a fantastic option.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine (SF-RW5515)

Let’s talk about the top-selling rowing machine on Amazon! It’s the classic magnetic rower by Sunny Health & Fitness, the SF-RW5515.

While it’s not going to blow your mind with advanced features, this rower has garnered an impressive average rating of over 4/5 from happy customers. And with a price tag under $300, it’s excellent value.

The SF-RW5515 offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance that can be adjusted easily with a dial in the front. The small LCD display provides only the basic workout info, but that’s all you really need to keep track of your progress.

Although it has a weight limit of 250 lbs, it’s compact enough to fold away for storage when not in use. Plus, you get the same 3-year, 180-day warranty as the Obsidian Surge, another rower by SHF.

So if you’re on the hunt for a user-friendly rower to help you get moving, the SF-RW5515 might just be your new go-to. The low price means that it’s probably the best-value rowing machine under $500.

XTERRA ERG500 Air Rower

When it comes to budget-friendly brands, XTERRA is often overlooked, but they offer exceptional products that are great value for money.

The ERG500 is XTERRA’s standout air rower, offering an impressive range of features.

With its adjustable damper featuring 8 settings, you can fine-tune the resistance by controlling the airflow to the fan, providing a customized rowing experience.

Weighing 79 lbs and supporting up to 300 lbs, this rower is solidly built. The seat is positioned slightly higher than usual, at around 15″ off the floor, which makes it more comfortable to use, especially if you are a tall rower or heavy rower.

The console on the ERG500 is more advanced compared to most of the budget rowers on this list. This enables comprehensive metric tracking and countdown-style workouts.

What truly sets the ERG500 apart is its exceptional warranty. XTERRA stands behind this rower with a 5-year frame, 2-year parts, and 90-day labor guarantee, ensuring peace of mind and long-term satisfaction.

To be honest, it’s hard to find a better air rower in this under $500 price range.

XTERRA ERG500 Air Rower delivers unbeatable value and performance that will exceed your expectations.

ECHANFIT Magnetic Rowing Machine

Don’t let its affordable price fool you (closer to $200 than $500)– the ECHANFIT Magnetic Rowing Machine offers impressive features that make it incredible value.

As a magnetic rower, it provides a quiet and consistent resistance, ensuring a smooth rowing experience regardless of your speed or intensity.

With 16 resistance levels, this rower offers twice as many options as most magnetic models in its price range, allowing you to customize your workout to your desired intensity.

Despite its lightweight design (weighing only about 57 lbs), the ECHANFIT boasts a weight limit of 350 lbs, providing stability and durability during your workouts.

Convenience is key with this rower, as it can be easily folded up for compact storage, making it suitable for homes with limited workout space.

The console on the ECHANFIT is larger than others in this price range, and focuses on tracking basic workout statistics.

It also comes with a tablet holder, allowing you to follow streaming workouts if desired (you could even sign up for the Hydrow app and have a smart rower for a budget price)

This affordable rower comes with a 1-year parts warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee, providing you with peace of mind and assurance of its quality.

It’s no wonder this rower is gaining popularity as one of the best budget rowing machines on the market.

The ECHANFIT Magnetic Rowing Machine offers a fantastic combination of affordability and features that will meet your fitness needs.

JOROTO Magnetic Rowing Machine

JOROTO, a Chinese-based brand, specializes in providing highly affordable fitness equipment, including cycles, rowers, and treadmills.

True to its name, the JOROTO rower is a magnetic machine with a 4.4 lb flywheel, delivering a smooth and quiet rowing experience.

This means that this rower offers enhanced performance compared to cheaper rowers with flywheels in the 2-4 lb range.

Featuring 10 resistance levels, the JOROTO rower allows you to adjust the intensity of your workouts to suit your preferences.

Despite its lightweight design (assembled weight of 53 lbs), this rower has an impressive weight capacity of 300 lbs, ensuring stability and durability during your exercises.

The console of this rower is fairly standard for its price range, displaying essential metrics such as time, but it also includes a tablet holder, enabling you to enjoy entertainment or access fitness apps while working out.

For easy storage, the JOROTO rower can be conveniently folded away, saving space in your home.

With a standard 12-month parts warranty, the JOROTO rower offers the expected level of coverage.

The JOROTO Magnetic Rowing Machine is an attractive and straightforward choice for a rower under 500.

Its magnetic resistance system, sleek appearance, and competitive pricing make it a compelling option for those seeking an efficient rowing machine for under $500.

JOROTO MR280 Water Rowing Machine

If you would prefer a water rower, the JOROTO MR280 Water Rowing Machine (with Heart Rate Belt) is probably the best water rower under $500.

Its premium solid oak build ensures excellent durability and stability, supporting a maximum load of 330lbs/150kg and accommodating users up to 39″/195cm in height.

Rowing on this machine provides a smooth and immersive experience, thanks to the enlarged blades in the water tank that offer enhanced resistance.

The 6 levels of water line marks make it convenient to adjust the resistance to your desired level.

Additionally, the organic polymer PU rollers under the ergonomic seat contribute to a quieter and more comfortable rowing session.

The Bluetooth monitor on the rowing machine allows you to track important workout data and supports various fitness apps like KINOMAP.

With a phone holder included, you can easily use your preferred app while exercising.

Not only does the JOROTO MR280 offer impressive features, but it is also designed with convenience in mind.

The foldable design saves space, and the beautiful oak texture gives it an attractive appearance, almost resembling a piece of furniture.

Moreover, the patented sealing technology eliminates the need to drain the water tank after use, and you won’t have to worry about any water leakage when the machine is stored upright.

Choose the JOROTO MR280 Rowing Machine with Heart Rate Belt for an incredible rowing experience at home, backed by a reliable brand that prioritizes customer satisfaction.

YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine

With over 20 years of experience in designing and producing high-quality fitness equipment, YOSUDA has established itself as a trusted brand among more than 1,000,000 families.

One of the standout features of the YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine is its super quiet operation.

Utilizing a magnetic resistance system, this rower delivers an unbelievably smooth and nearly silent rowing experience.

You can exercise indoors without worrying about disturbing your family or roommates, and it requires virtually no maintenance.

No matter your fitness level, the YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine offers sufficient resistance to challenge you.

Equipped with a 10 lbs flywheel and 16 levels of resistance, it provides double the resistance levels compared to other budget rowing machines.

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional athlete, you can tailor your workout to meet your specific needs and goals.

Built to last, this rowing machine features heavy-duty commercial-quality steel construction, ensuring stability and durability.

It supports users up to 350 lbs and accommodates individuals up to 6’6″ in height. The ergonomic seat provides exceptional comfort, allowing you to focus on your workout without discomfort or distractions.

You can stay motivated and track your progress with the large LCD monitor that displays essential workout data such as distance, rowing time, count, total count, and calories burned.

To enhance your workout experience, the rowing machine also includes a convenient tablet holder, allowing you to enjoy your favorite videos or music while rowing.

The Yosuda comes with a one-month free return and refund policy, and a two-year warranty for replacement parts.

This is the final rower of my roundup of the best rowing machines under $500. It’s last but not least and it’s one of the most reliable and user-friendly rowers.

There are thousands of great reviews on Amazon, everyone loves this budget rower (it’s under $300)!

Types of Rower: Choosing the Perfect Fit

When it comes to finding the ideal rowing machine for under $500, there are four main types to consider, each offering resistance in its own unique way. Let’s dive into each type and explore their features and benefits.

Magnetic Rowers: Consistent and Quiet

Magnetic rowers utilize magnets and a metal disc to provide resistance.

One notable advantage is the consistent resistance they offer, regardless of your rowing speed.

Magnetic rowers also operate quietly, making them perfect for those who prefer a noise-free workout environment.

However, some users find that magnetic rowers lack the realistic feel and intense resistance levels of air or water rowers.

Yet, modern magnetic rowers often combine magnetic and air resistance, providing the best of both worlds—consistent magnet resistance with an added boost of air resistance during high-speed rows.

If you’re seeking a quiet and consistent workout, try a magnetic rower.

Water Rowers: Realistic and Engaging

Water rowers simulate the experience of rowing a boat on the water by using a flywheel spinning through water to generate resistance.

The resistance is entirely based on your effort, with harder and faster pulls resulting in increased resistance.

If you’re a competitive rower or simply desire a highly realistic rowing experience, a water rower is an excellent choice.

While water rowers may produce a swooshing sound, some find it soothing and reminiscent of being out on the water.

Although they may come with a higher price tag, their aesthetic appeal and immersive experience make them a worthwhile investment.

Air Rowers: Limitless Resistance

Air rowers utilize a flywheel with fans that create resistance by pulling against the air.

They operate similarly to water rowers but without the water element.

Like water rowers, the resistance of air rowers is unlimited, providing a true-to-life sensation of rowing on water.

While they may generate some noise, air rowers remain popular among indoor rowing enthusiasts.

Another advantage is their affordability, as they usually offer a reasonable price range, making them accessible to a wide range of users.

Hydraulic Rowers: Affordable and Space-Saving

Hydraulic rowing machines offer a budget-friendly and compact option.

Instead of magnets, fans, or water, they use pistons filled with air or fluid to create resistance.

These machines often come in single or double piston models, and some even feature sliding seats for added comfort.

Most hydraulic rowers offer adjustable resistance levels, allowing you to customize your workout according to your preferences.

While they may not replicate the same level of realism as water or air rowers, hydraulic rowers are an excellent choice for those with budget constraints or limited space.

Don’t be fooled by their smaller size—these machines can still deliver an effective workout.

Weight Capacity: Durability and Stability

Regardless of the rowing machine type, it’s crucial to consider the weight capacity when selecting exercise equipment.

The weight capacity serves as an objective measure of the machine’s durability, indicating the sturdiness of its frame.

Additionally, the weight of the machine itself can provide insight into its stability during use.

Machines designed to support larger users must feature stronger frames to withstand heavier weights.

Ideally, opt for a machine with a weight capacity well above your actual weight to ensure stability.

For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, consider a machine with a capacity of at least 300 pounds, providing a comfortable margin of safety.

However, it’s important to note that weight capacities may vary depending on the rowing machine type.

While compact hydraulic rowers may have lower weight capacities compared to full-size water rowers, it’s essential to select a machine that safely accommodates your body weight.

Best Rower Under $500 – Final Thoughts

One of the main takeaways from this guide is that you can find a great rowing machine for $500 or even less.

When considering these affordable rowing machines, it is essential to identify your preferred type of resistance and prioritize performance specifications that align with your fitness goals.

Whether you opt for a magnetic rower with adjustable resistance levels or a water rower for a more realistic rowing experience, there are options available even in the under $500 price range.

So, don’t let budget constraints hold you back from enjoying the benefits of rowing.

With the right research (this blog post!), you can find a reliable and affordable rowing machine that fits your needs and helps you achieve your fitness goals without breaking the bank.

Start rowing your way to a healthier, stronger you today!

Best Rowers for Under $500: Our Top Picks

Best Rowing Machine under $500: Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower (check price at Amazon)

Best Rower for under $500 Runner-Up: Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 (check price)

Best Water Rower for under $500: JOROTO MR280 Water Rowing Machine (See price at Amazon)

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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