Finding The Best Rowing Machine Under $500 Easily – Don’t Be Dissatisfied

Buying a rowing machine will prove to be very wise. Once you’ve bought a machine, you’ll be able to work out any time of the day or night and you won’t have to travel to the gym. Rowing machines are very diverse and beneficial but they’re not equal. You need to make sure that you find one that is going to suit your individual needs. You need to research diligently until you find a machine that works best for your preferences and your budget.

Comparison table

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What should you look for? What models are best? Below, you’re going to find out.

1. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine

The Sunny Health & Fitness Rower may be the best water rowing machine on the market. It is inexpensive, versatile, and ready for anything. The machine can provide the user with a smooth rowing experience at all times. It delivers instant resistance from the flywheel so the machine perfectly replicates the rowing machine. The flywheel is heavy-duty so you can guarantee that it is going to last a lifetime without any complications. You’ll also love the Fitness Meter, padded seat, and other features.

Fitness Meter

One of the best things about the Sunny Health & Fitness Rower is the R2 Fitness Meter. This device ensures that you’re able to keep track of your workout from start to finish. For instance, the meter provides you with access to vital information including total time, 500 m Time, total strokes, calories, HR, and so much more. If you want to make sure you’ve burned a certain number of calories during your workout, this machine is good for you.

Storage Made Easy

Storing a rower can be difficult. This is even tougher when you live in a small apartment. Thankfully, the Sunny Health & Fitness Rower is designed for easy storage. It features rubber wheels so you can move it around easily. The machine can be stored upright as well. Whether you want to place it in a closet or near your bed, you’ll be able to do so. And, you won’t have to worry about the machine consuming too much space.


  • R2 Fitness Meter is great
  • Resistance works well
  • Padded seat is comfortable
  • Easy to store


  • Some may not like the footplate moving with their feet

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2. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower is a great option for many consumers. It is very durable meaning it is going to last time. Simultaneously, you’ll be thrilled to know that this machine syncs with a smartphone app. Therefore, you can keep track of your progress on your smartphone. This machine delivers a full-body exercise so you’ll be able to feel it from top to bottom. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the Bluetooth technology. Thanks to these key features, this machine could be the best magnetic rowing machine under 500.

Tension Resistance

Depending on your experience level, you may need more resistance than others. This is why you’re going to appreciate the Fitness Reality Rower. With this one, you’ll be able to experiment with 14 levels of resistance. This ensures that you can find the precise resistance that you need at any given time. If you’re starting out and haven’t rowed a lot, you can stick with a lower resistance. This will make your workout much easier.

LCD Display

When exercising, you’ll want to be able to keep track of your progress. This machine allows you to do just that. The 3.5” LCD display provides you with access to your distance, time, calories burned, and much more. You can also keep track of this information using the smartphone app. This machine supports tall people as well making it the best rowing machine for tall person.

Great Seat

Finally, you should know that this machine features a large contoured cushion seat. It is very comfortable so you can stay relax from start to finish. The seat is designed to support your body so you can workout without experiencing discomfort.


  • Folds for easier storage
  • Seat is comfortable
  • Bluetooth compatibility
  • 14 tension resistance levels


  • App could be better

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3. Stamina ATS Air Rower

The Stamina Air Rower is a good option for people who want to save a little money. This machine is very reliable and tough so you can guarantee that it is going to provide you with a great workout. You’ll also like the fact that it is available in multiple colors. If you’re a picky individual and want to make sure it matches our home, this machine will do the trick. You can choose from black, black and chrome, and crypto green. This machine offers an excellent workout so you’ll be able to burn calories quicker than ever before. You’ll also improve your body strength and heart health.

Air Resistance

This rower utilizes dynamic air resistance to control the intensity of your workout. One of the best things about air resistance is the fact that it is going to cater to your pace. If you want extra resistance, you’ll need to paddle harder. When you slow down, the resistance will decrease. This means you don’t have to change any settings. You can jump onto the machine and start working out immediately. This makes the product the best air rowing machine under 500.


To ensure you get your money’s worth, you’ll want to choose a machine protected by a great warranty. This one is going to knock it out of the park. The rower’s frame is protected for 3 years. The remaining parts are covered for 1 year. This is very good considering that the price is lower than what you’re going to find with the alternatives.


  • Great warranties
  • LCD display is each to read
  • Works the entire body
  • Fun to use


  • Set up is a bit complicated

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4. MaxKare Rowing Machine

The MaxKare Air Rower is one of the cheapest rowing machines on the market. Nevertheless, it is going to help you get a good workout every time. It is sturdy and durable so you can push yourself to the limits without having to worry about the rower messing up. The machine features an iPad holder so you can stay entertained while you exercise. You’ll also want to take advantage of the digital monitor. It can provide you with quick access to your statistics including calories burned and distance traveled. Since it folds, it might be the best foldable rowing machine on the market.


One thing to note is that this rowing machine is very compact and lightweight. It folds up so you can store it away very easily. The pulley allows you to move the machine anywhere you want without any trouble whatsoever. This is the best rowing machine for apartment since it is compact and easy to move. With this one, you won’t have any trouble finding a place to put it. You can guarantee that it’ll slide into your closet without any trouble.

Maximum Capacity

If you’re just getting started, there is a chance that you’re on the heavier side. So, you may be worried that the rower isn’t going to support your weight. That shouldn’t be a problem. This machine weighs 264 pounds. Therefore, you should not have any problems in this category. It is the best home rowing machine under 500 and it can support anyone. As long as you’re 264 pounds or less, you’ll be able to use this machine without any troubles.


  • Convenient iPad holder
  • Great for small apartments
  • Plenty of resistance levels
  • Supports up to 264 pounds


  • No way to adjust the tension

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5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Rowing Machine

This is one of the cheapest rowing machines out there. It is great despite some flaws here and there. And, you’ll be glad to know it can support anyone. The maximum weight capacity is 350 pounds. This is a compact rowing machine so it can be used in any dwelling. The LCD display provides access to information such as time, calories burned, and so much more.

Very Quiet

This is a quiet rowing machine so it won’t cause any problems. You can get up in the morning and begin using the machine. There isn’t a risk that you’re going to wake your roommates or neighbors. The machine is very quiet so you won’t have to worry about making anyone angry at you.


This is a portable rowing machine so it can be taken with you easily. It weighs just 33 pounds. Therefore, you won’t have any trouble lifting it and moving it around. With this machine, you won’t have to worry about moving and leaving it behind. You can easily stick it in your trunk.


  • Easy to take with you
  • Supports most people
  • Very quiet
  • Has adjustable straps for your feet


  • Seat is a little uncomfortable

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Buying Guide

Are you on the market for a new rowing machine? If so, you are in for a treat, as there are endless models and brands to choose from. Depending on your budget, you should be able to get a model that suits your preferences and needs to a tee. With that said, not all brands and models are created equal. Some models will feature up to 12 resistance levels while others only have eight. The same thing goes for weight capacity, LCD screens, and the foot pedals, all of which will have unique designs and features. You must utilize the same techniques when shopping for treadmills and ellipticals.

Weight Capacity

One of the most important factors that must be considered when buying a rowing machine is weight capacity. Even if you are a petite individual, the machine may not be able to accommodate your entire body. For people who are tall-statured and overweight, weight capacity capability is even more important. In this case, it would be best to stick with models that offer extended weight capacity up to at least 350 pounds.


The warranty is also extremely important, regardless of what you believe. Unfortunately, way too many manufacturers create their rowing machines to only work short-term. It is really a shame because money does not grow on trees. Read the manufacturer’s warranty carefully and thoroughly. What you need to look for is what is covered and how long the warranty lasts. The warranty should cover the frame, electronic components, moving parts, and the integrity of the machine for at least a year.

If you desire a more extensive warranty, you will need to invest extra money into a high-ticket model. The top name brands will include a more extensive warranty because the customer paid more money for the rowing machine. You must decide which option is best for you.

Foot Pedals

The foot pedal design is crucial, as it can make or break the rowing machine. If the design does not deliver on comfort, stability, and support, it will be rendered useless. It must also have an anti-slip surface to reduce or eliminate mishaps. You will utilize your feet to help propel your body back and forth, putting a lot of force on the foot pedals, which must be able to endure the extra pressure.


When some utilize a rowing machine, they will increase the resistance up to the maximum level. Of course, that is more likely to happen in males than females but, regardless, it is very common. Depending on the model, the resistance levels can range from zero to eight or 12. The mid-levels will not make much difference, as they only minimally alter the resistance.


Rowing machines are great for building specific muscles throughout the body. The machine mimics the rowing process utilized by professional athletes. They are perfect for people who enjoy rowing and other outdoor sports. When it comes to buying one of these machines, you must factor in all of the above elements. That is the only way to ensure you get the right machine, the first go-round. Set your budget and do not stop until you find a model that will fit your preferences and needs.


How many resistance levels does a rowing machine need?

It is a fact that most people do not change the resistance level after the initial setup. In all actuality, a rowing machine only needs eight resistance levels. But, manufacturers like to include more to make their machines look more enticing to consumers. The first, middle, and highest resistance level is the most important, the other levels make only minor adjustments.

What muscles are targeted by rowing machines?

Rowing machines target several muscle groups, including those in the leg, midsection, upper back, arm, and hip areas. If you are interested in building these muscle groups, a rowing machine may be exactly what you need.

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