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9 Best Rowing Machines Under $500 [2024] Quality & Savings!

Best Rowing Machines Under $500 Ideal for Home Use

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Are there good quality home rowing machines that you can buy for less than $500?”

The answer is a definite YES!

Right away I can list at least thirty rowers for this price range including reputable brands, like Stamina and Sunny Health. Finding the best rowing machine under 500 dollars requires a bit of research, and that’s what we did in this article.

Editors Choice Badge for home rowers under $500

In a Hurry?  Here Are My Top 9 Picks:

If you’re pressed for time and simply want to find the best rowing machines under $500, here are my recommended choices:

  1. Sunny Health Obsidian Water Rowing Machine
  2. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower
  3. Sunny Health and Fitness Smart Compact Rower
  4. Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air
  5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine Rower
  6. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050
  7. Joroto MR23 Water Rower
  8. Yosuda Magnetic Rower
  9. LubbyGim Basic Rower

*We review fitness products impartially and may earn a commission from affiliate links. For details see our disclosure page.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get an outstanding rowing machine. Our list includes 9 of the best budget rowing machines on the market for under $500 (One is even less than $100!)

Comparison Table: Home Rowers Below $500

Rowing Machine Model Resistance Type Monitor Durability Weight Capacity Warranty User Comfort
Sunny Obsidian Water Rower Water Resistance (Hydro-Blade) Basic monitor Steel frame 300 lbs 3 years on frame, 10 days on parts Comfortable seat, oversized footrests
Sunny Magnetic Rowing Machine Magnetic Resistance (8 levels) LCD monitor Steel and aluminum frame 300 lbs 3 years on frame, 180 days on parts Adjustable magnetic resistance, comfortable seat
Sunny Smart Compact Magnetic Rower Magnetic Resistance (8 levels) Bluetooth-enabled monitor Steel and aluminum frame 285 lbs 3 years frame, 180 days on  parts Ergonomic seat, footrests, Bluetooth connectivity
Stamina ATS Air Rowing Machine Air Resistance LCD monitor Steel and aluminum frame 250 lbs 3 years on frame, 90 days on parts Oversized footplates, comfortable seat
Sunny Full Motion Rowing Machine Hydraulic Resistance (12 levels) Basic monitor Alloy steel frame 350 lbs 3 years on frame, 180 days on parts Ergonomic seat, foldable design
Stamina Bodytrac Glider Hydraulic Resistance (8 levels) Simple LCD monitor Steel and aluminum frame 250 lbs 1 year on frame, 90 days on parts Comfortable padded, molded seat, textured footplates, foldable arms
Joroto MR23 Water Rower Water Resistance (Water Tank) Performance monitor, Kinomap app integration Alloy steel construction 300 lbs 1 year, no questions asked  Comfortable seat, Bluetooth connectivity 
Yosuda Magnetic Rowing Machine Magnetic Resistance (16 levels) Small monitor, Kinomap app compatibility  Alloy steel construction  350 lbs 1 year on all parts Tablet shelf, Bluetooth connectivity 
LubbyGim Basic Rower Resistance Bands (3 levels) Basic monitor Alloy steel construction 300 lbs  1 year, no questions asked  Padded seat, foldable design 

Bookmark this page so you can read up and get all the details about each machine when you have more time. Logo

Best Budget Rowing Machines Under 500

Here are out Top 9 Picks, naming the best in each resistance category. 

1. Sunny Health and Fitness Obsidian Water Rowing Machine – Best Water Rower Under $500


female model working out on a Sunny Health SF Obsidian water rowing machine

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Right, let’s get into the first pick for the rowing machine under 500! Sunny Health and Fitness brand is one of the top brands when it comes to health and exercise. While this is at the top of the price range, it is absolutely worth every penny to have a top-of-the-line rowing machine like the Obsidian.  If you love water rowers, you will easily see why this made the best water rowing machine under 500 list.


Possibly unrivaled in its resistance capabilities, this particular indoor rower manages to authentically replicate the sensation of rowing on actual water. Utilizing hydro-blade innovation, this water-based rowing machine guarantees an unparalleled degree of precision in simulating competitive rowing experiences.

The hydro-blade technology on this rowing machine uses fan blades moving against water to create resistance inside the bubble. What this means is that just like in a real rowing situation, the user must change the pace of their rowing to increase or decrease resistance levels – to learn more check out our article on 1000m row time for a beginner.Hydro blades and floor stabilizers of Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine

A Note on Hydro Blades: Because this rowing machine uses hydro-blades, it utilizes actual water to create the right resistance for your workout. This also means that one must understand how to change their pace to switch levels on this rowing machine.

I love water rowers for two reasons: One, they feel like you are really rowing on the water, and second, the sound is simply music to my ears!

Water rowers aren’t loud like air resistance rowers but rather like a bathtub filling with water. If you love the sound of water, you’ll definitely want to check out a water rower like the Obsidian 500.


The monitor on this rowing machine is less fancy than some other fitness machines in our list of the best rowing machine under $500 but accurately tracks all the metrics that you need. No matter what your fitness goals are, you can use this water-resistance system to accurately monitor your performance while working out using the rowing machine.

Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine features

This rower has a “smart” version, but it’s a few hundred dollars over my $500 dollar limit.


One of the great things about this rowing machine is that it has one of the highest levels of durability on the market. For this reason, it has a slightly higher weight capacity than some of the other models mentioned. This rowing machine can be easily stabilized as well using the adjustable feet.

As always, I recommend using a machine mat not only to keep the machine stable but also to prevent damage from dust and foreign debris.

Weight Capacity

This rowing machine has a user weight capacity of 300 lbs, which is a great deal higher than some of the less expensive rowing machines we have looked at. This makes this rowing machine jump up a few levels as far as rank in my book for the best budget rowing machine under $500 list!

User Comfort

a man working out on an Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine

They designed the seat on this model with comfort in mind and achieved that by adding more padding.

Another great feature of this model is that the footrests are oversized to accommodate various shoe sizes, which is what you need if you have several people at home who will be using the rowing machine.

2. Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower – Best Magnetic Rower Under $500

male rower working out using Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Monitor is competitively priced and is one of my favorite magnetic rowers. It offers great value in terms of quality and adjustability of resistance, making it one of the most popular machines on the market.



This budget rowing machine boasts a strong and fully adjustable magnetic resistance that works both for beginners and advanced rowers. There are eight levels of resistance, which you can easily adjust depending on how difficult you want your workout to be.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower with 8 Levels of Resistance

This makes this rowing machine a good choice in a home with more than one rower. With different resistance levels, anybody in your home can find the right workout for their needs.

A Note on Magnetic Resistance: The level of difficulty is adjusted using a knob, which means that you can turn the knob to a high level and work yourself against a constant, challenging resistance. This is true even if you row slowly. You will see how this is different from an air rower, but we’ll get into that in a bit. 

Downside: Magnetic rowers don’t replicate true rowing resistance. Not only that – you’ll need to stop and adjust the resistance knob each time you need to change the intensity of your sprints. If you are looking for a true rowing experience check out the Hydrow – it’s one of my personal favorites!


Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Digital LCD Display - SF-RW5515 Rowing Machine Rower

The best part about its LCD monitor is you can track your fitness progress every step of the way. It is bigger than most monitors and tracks all the important data, such as time, split time, strokes, SPM, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and pulse. There is a convenient scan mode to make tracking all your stats easy.

While this is no fancy monitor, you can always put the rower in front of your TV or tablet and watch your favorite shows that way.


The main body of this piece of exercise equipment is made of steel and aluminum. It has a nylon pull that is very quiet and very durable.

Ergonomic design features of Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower

This type of solid construction is typical of Sunny Health & Fitness equipment.

Another thoughtful feature is the ease of moving it around, thanks to its sturdy transportation wheels. There’s no doubt that it will remain durable even if you have to frequently wheel it around your home and move it to different locations.

Maximum User Capacity

With the extra-long slide rail, this rowing machine is a great option for tall people. No matter your height, you should be able to use this rowing machine.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower SF-RW5515 features extra long slide rails for full range motion

The maximum user weight capacity of this Sunny Health and Fitness machine is 300 pounds.

User Comfort and Rowing Experience

The best part of this rowing machine is that magnetic resistance levels can be easily adjusted. That makes adjusting the resistance easy even for those who have never used a rowing machine before.

The extra-long slide rails add comfort to this rowing machine for people on the tall side (which is another reason why it made my best rowing machine under $500 list).

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower in use

The non-slip foot pedals are also a great feature because you can row in comfort without worrying about slipping off and banging your shins!

TRENDING TOPIC:  Top Rowers Under $1000

3. Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Compact Magnetic Rowing Machine

female model using a Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Compact Magnetic Rowing Machine – SF-RW521020

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Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Compact Rowing machine is a competitively priced magnetic rowing machine that offers full Bluetooth capability. This is a terrific offer when it comes to value for your hard-earned money.

Resistance Levels

This amazing but budget-priced rower boasts a strong and fully adjustable magnetic resistance that works both for beginners and advanced rowers. It’s eight resistance levels should work well for all but the most advanced fitness enthusiasts.  

8 Levels of magnetic resistance of SF-RW521020

Note on Adjusting Resistance: You can adjust the difficulty level of your workout simply by twisting a knob. It offers a constant, challenging resistance, whether you’re rowing fast or slow. 

Downside: As I’ve already mentioned, magnetic resistance does not replicate true rowing resistance, and you’ll need to stop and adjust the knob each time you want to change the resistance level.


This rower uses the basic performance monitor that you will find on most SHF rowers, but it does have one trick up its sleeve – it is completely Bluetooth enabled.

Adjustable digital monitor of the Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Compact Magnetic Rowing Machine

This means that you can download the free SunnyFit app to your phone or tablet and, using the tablet shelf on the rowing machine, watch free rowing workouts!

If you have a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, fitness watch, or headphones, you can connect all those for no charge!

Free workout programs?! Who doesn’t want that?!

Magnetic Rowing Machine Durability

Its body is made of steel and aluminum, and it uses a nearly silent nylon pull for the handle. It displays the solid construction that is typical of Sunny Health & Fitness machines.

foot pedals, foot straps, wheels, handlebar, and bottle holder of the Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Compact Magnetic Rowing Machine

The warranty is 3 years on the frame and 6 months for all other parts. Not too bad for a rowing machine in this price range.

Rowing Machine Capacity

The maximum user weight capacity is 285 pounds. People as tall as 6’5” can use it without issues, but the critical measurement is the user’s inseam. If you have an inseam of less than 38”, then there shouldn’t be any problem.

dimensions and maximum weight capacity of SF-RW521020

User Comfort & Rowing Experience

The handlebar is slightly angled downward. The grip is made of high-density foam rubber, which is sweat-resistant, and you know what? I found this to be one of the best magnetic rowing machines tested by the rowing pros at Rowing Crazy!

a man moving a Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Compact Magnetic Rowing Machine – SF-RW521020

The LCD monitor can be tilted to an angle most comfortable to you. The padded seat is good-sized and contoured so it’s easier on the butt. It does not take long for your bottom to become uncomfortable on some of these seats, but this is not an issue in this model.

The foot pedals are oversized to fit large shoe sizes. There are thick straps and heel cups, too, to prevent slippage. If you want a quiet indoor rowing machine that is Bluetooth compatible and you want FREE workouts, the Sunny Health and Fitness Smart Compact rowing machine will be hard to beat.

4. Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rowing Machine – Best Air Rower Under 500

Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rower

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The staff at Rowing Crazy has voted the Stamina 35-1402 ATS air rower as the best budget rower under $500 in this resistance category. It is one of the upgraded models of Stamina’s basic ATS rowers. If you’ve worked with 35-1399 before, you’ll find Model 35-1402 to be basically the same but with some upgraded features.f7uylo 

Watch the Stamina ATS Air Rower in Full Action:


ATS Air Rowing Machine Resistance

Stamina’s ATS Series gives the best value for money for air rowers in the below $500 range. Like all air resistance indoor rowers, 35-1402 depends on your rowing motion to spin the flywheel and create dynamic air resistance from the fan blades inside the cage.

Stamina ATS Air Rower Air Transfer System

Note on Air Rower Resistance: The intensity of your strokes or the work that you exert will determine the strength of the resistance.

Air resistance rowing machines have what is called a dynamically “variable” resistance system, which mimics true rowing resistance. For this reason, air rowers are ideal for full-body HIIT workouts, allowing you to alternate between easy and intense sets on the fly. There’s no need to pause or reset a knob between levels or sets.

Important to Know: Don’t go looking for a knob to adjust resistance with because there isn’t one. No air rowing machine operates with a resistance-adjusting knob.

Many users mistake damper settings, which some high-end air rowers have, as resistance adjustment. This assumption is wrong. A damper adjusts airflow into the flywheel, which changes the feel—not the intensity—of resistance. You can read more about how that works here.


The LCD monitor on the ATS air rowing machine is an improved version of the monitor in the 35-1399 model, though still pretty basic.

It will track your SPM, strokes, distance, speed, time, heart rate, and calories. The display is slightly larger than other models and has three windows for the stats instead of the single window in older models.

ATS Air Rower Durability

This sturdily built piece of equipment can take some punishment. It has a strong steel frame, while the slide rail is made of aluminum, making this machine lightweight but super sturdy.

Features of Stamina ATS Air Rower

The pull strap is made of high-grade nylon, which is much quieter than the chain pull you’ll find on other air rowers, including the Concept 2. This is yet another reason why we’ve chosen the Stamina 35-1402 ATS as the best air rowing machine under $500 list.

User Capacity

Make sure to check the compatibility of this ATS rowing machine to your weight, height, and inseam. It has a maximum user weight capacity of 250 pounds.

Stamina ATS Air Rower foldable design, dimensions, and user capacity

While this rower supports users as tall as 6’2” or with an inseam measurement of up to 34”, the maximum user weight capacity is a bit lower than you might expect.

User Comfort

The padded seat is comfortable and generously sized. The pivoting foot pedals are likewise oversized. There are wide straps to keep your feet in place as you perform the rowing motion.

The seat rail’s downward slope can be a bit too steep for some. Unless you have leg issues, this is good because it provides added legwork for you.

Be forewarned, though, this rowing machine, like all air rowers, can be noisy. You must place it where it won’t be too bothersome for others.

TRENDING TOPIC:  Are Water Rowers Better Than Magnetic Rowing Machines?

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 – Full Motion Rowing Machine Rower

female model using Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine Rower

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Check Amazon for the best deals on rowing machines now! The SF-RW5639 full-motion rowing machine is a favorite, and it’s available for less than $130.

I rarely recommend hydraulic rowers because they’re often built with inferior quality, but SHF machines are an exception. I have confidence in the quality and superior engineering that this fitness brand provides. 



Unlike the machines we’ve featured above, this hydraulic rower does not come with a chain pull or nylon strap. Instead, it has two rowing arms (oars) where the resistance mechanisms, hydraulic pumps, are attached.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Features

Without going too deep into technical details, allow me to tell you that each arm is connected to a resistance system that contains pistons and hydraulic fluid, which create resistance. Think of your car’s shock absorbers, and you’ll get the idea.

You can increase or decrease resistance up to 12 difficulty levels to suit your preferred rowing experience!

Note on Hydraulic-Piston Resistance: The resistance that you get on this type of indoor machine does not mimic true boat rowing, but this model compensates by providing orbital arms that allow free rowing motions. This mimics the actual rowing styles used in boat rowing. Plus, nothing can beat working out with 12 challenging levels to enhance your full-body workout.

Downside: This rower would be great for those who travel quite a bit or want a piece of exercise equipment in a guest house or cabin, but for the majority of people, hydraulic rowers don’t offer too much resistance or a realistic rowing workout.

That being said, in the right situation, this can be a practical alternative for some people. I know of one friend whose mother was living in a retirement community. At 84 years young, she found the rowing machine in the gym too difficult to operate, but this rowing machine worked perfectly for her. It’s so compact, she kept it under her bed!


Set between the foot pedals, the monitor is hard to miss while you row. It might be basic, but it does keep track and simultaneously displays time, strokes, SPM, distance in a kilometer, energy in kilojoules, and your pulse rate. You can monitor your heart rate or pulse rate with the included infrared earlobe clip sensor.


As mentioned earlier, Sunny Health and Fitness machines are solidly built, unlike cheaper machines in this category. Its tough frame is made of carbon steel. There are no squeaky sounds when used. It is one of the quietest indoor rowing machines you will ever find.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine Rower comfort features


This is no doubt the best hydraulic rowing machine you can find with an outstanding weight capacity to boot! It can handle users up to an incredible 350-pound limit. It comes with a long rail, making it suitable for people with an inseam of around 40”.

User Comfort

Woman using the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine Rower

The wide and thickly padded contoured seat glides smoothly along the steel rail. Its plastic handles are comfortable and don’t get sweaty. There are wide footplates that should accommodate nearly every shoe size.

6. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine side view

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This Stamina Body Trac Glider is currently available at 56% less than its regular price. If you are into rowing, this machine is a good choice for at-home use. It has a padded seat and uses a top-of-the-line hydraulic system that makes it one of the best machines in this category.



Incorporating a hydraulic arm rower technique for resistance, the Stamina Body Trac Glider effectively emulates the genuine sensation of rowing on water. This increases calorie expenditure and elevated heart rates throughout the user’s fitness session.

Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Hydraulic Rowing Machine with 12 levels of resistance

The resistance intensity offered by indoor rower engages the whole body and effectively targets all major muscle groups, including the back, legs, abdominals, glutes, and arms.

Perhaps best of all, this inexpensive machine uses no electricity, and no internet is required.

Downside: Because this rowing machine works on a hydraulic system, you have to stop your workout to change resistance levels. While this is not a huge inconvenience, it does cause a minor inconvenience to the user when they are trying to complete a long rowing workout. One would like to use a rower with resistance levels that are easier to change.


This machine, like most of the others, has an LCD screen display monitor. It is easy to read and allows you to track your strokes per minute, workout time, and calories burned. This machine also allows you to easily adjust the resistance levels with a simple push of a button on the LCD display.

full-motion rowing arms of the Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Hydraulic Rowing Machine


I’m quite impressed at the steel build of this rower, and it’s easy to believe that it will last. The thick padding on the seat allows for a comfortable rowing exercise, which is a huge plus for users.

User Weight Capacity

Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Dimensions and maximum user weight and height capacity

The weight capacity on the stamina rowing machine is 250 pounds, which is on the lower end when compared to other machines in our research. However, this really is a great rowing machine for the price and for the right person.

User Comfort

Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 benefits

The standard seat is wide and comfortable but slightly thinner than a custom seat. Still, for a rower in the under-$500 list, it’s definitely worth checking out.

7. Joroto MR23 Water Rower

male rower using a JOROTO MR23 Water Rowing Machine

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Like other brands, Joroto isn’t a name well-known in America (not yet), but they make good quality exercise equipment with all the features that you want minus the name-brand price tag.

I believe I mentioned before that I love water rowers. They feel like real rowing, and the sound of moving water is simply mesmerizing. This water rower is not only beautiful, but it’s also very practical.


JOROTO MR23 Water Rowing Machine 12 fan blades water resistance system

Like all water rowers, Joroto water rowing machines use water inside a tank that has fan blades. The faster you row, the more resistance you create.

I love the cool red blades in the slightly darkened water tank. Looks very futuristic!

Downside: I’ve never found a real downside to water rowers other than you need to add purification tablets to prevent algae buildup in the tank. These are inexpensive, however, so I’ve never found this to be a deal-breaker.

There are premium rowing machines that do the same thing but cost more because they have other features (usually monitors and expensive programming), but if you simply want to exercise, this is a premium rowing machine at a budget price.


adjustable monitor of JOROTO MR23 Water Rowing Machine

This rowing machine comes with a decent performance monitor that is large enough so that it is easy to read. The best part of this rowing machine is that it uses Kinomap, which you can download for free. Joroto offers about 6 weeks of free service, but you’ll need to pay to use the full app after that.

There is a large built-in shelf to hold your tablet or cell phone so you can watch the workouts or, if you prefer, stream your favorite television program or chat with your friends – the choice is yours.

This rower has Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect and use your headphones, fitness watch, or heart rate monitor.


The entire rowing machine is made from alloy steel, so you know it will hold up to everyday use!

Joroto offers a full 1-year no-questions-asked warranty, which is very good for budget rowing machines! Most have a warranty far below that!

Joroto also offers excellent customer service. Users rave about how easy it was to get a real person to talk to and how quickly they solved any problems they had.

User Weight Capacity

JOROTO MR23 Water Rowing Machine weight capacity and dimensions

You’ve seen machines that are made of steel but have only a 250-pound weight capacity. Check this out, the Joroto water rower has a 330-pound user weight capacity!

That goes to show you just how sturdy and durable this rowing machine is! One look at the warranty and weight capacity and you know that this is one tough puppy!

User Comfort

No one wants a rower that is uncomfortable, right? This indoor rowing machine features a foam-covered handle and an ergonomic soft seat that helps eliminate back pain.

muscles worked out by the JOROTO MR23 Water Rowing Machine

The handle is attached to a sturdy nylon rope, which is much, much quieter than any chain. You will also find very wide, adjustable foot pedals that will fit nearly every shoe size.

Last, did I mention that this rower will sit upright against the wall? When stored in this manner, it won’t take up any more room than a dining room chair! This is a terrific choice for those who are short on space.

8. Yosuda Magnetic Rowing Machine

man working out on a YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine

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Yosuda isn’t a well-known name (not yet), but I’m betting that this company is going to make a name for itself in the world of exercise equipment.

This is one impressive rower that should get more attention, and if you move quickly, I notice that it’s on sale with a ten percent markdown.


10-pound flywheel, 16 levels of magnetic resistance of YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine

This magnetic rowing machine offers 16 resistance levels, which is more than most rowing machines in this price range.

All it takes is a turn of the knob to find a resistance level that is challenging for you. With the sturdy 10-pound flywheel, you should find a workout that is challenging.


You’ll find that the performance monitor is quite small, but it does track the basic workout data that everyone wants. The rower works using the Kinomap app, which is where you can easily read and store all that important data.

YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine woth easy-read LCD monitor and tablet holder

There is a large tablet shelf to support your device. Simply download the app to your phone or tablet, connect to the rowing machine via Bluetooth, and you’re ready to do some challenging rowing workouts!

Bluetooth connectivity also means that you can use your own fitness watch, heart rate monitor, or headphones.


This rowing machine is made of alloy steel, and Yosuda stands behind its products. This comes with a full 1-year warranty on every single part of this rower, so you know it’s really tough.

There are plenty of 5-star reviews and praise for Yosuda’s customer service. This rowing machine should last for many, many years.

User Weight Capacity

YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine 350 LB Weight Capacity

To give you an idea of just how tough this rowing machine is- it can handle user weights up to 350 pounds. I think that’s the highest weight capacity of any rowing machine on this list!

For anyone who has been looking for a heavy-weight capacity rowing machine that doesn’t cost a fortune, you’ve found what you’ve been looking for!

Did I mention that it folds? Great choice for those who have limited space! With the oversized transportation wheels, you fold it up and roll this budget rowing machine out of the way!

User Comfort

This rower has oversized foot pedals with a non-slip surface. There is also a molded seat, but it isn’t padded so you might want to pick up a padded cover, such as this one.

Easy folding feature of YOSUDA Magnetic Rowing Machine and front wheels for moving it around

The handlebar also has some mild foam covering the handle, but you can also invest in a pair of rowing gloves. I use these, and I’ve never had a blister, ever!

9. LubbyGim Basic Rower

LubbyGim Hyper-Quiet Compact Foldable Rower Machine using resistance bands

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I can hear some of you saying, “I really need something even less expensive!” I’ve been there, so I wanted to include something that is under $100 so everyone can enjoy the sport of rowing, regardless of budget.

This is a very basic type of rowing machine that uses resistance bands as a way of providing resistance to your workout.


As I stated, this uses resistance bands to help you build muscle. There are three bands and you can choose which you want for your workout. At this time, the company says they haven’t made replacement bands, but the bands that the machine comes with offer up to 400 pounds of resistance.

LUBBYGIM Rowing Machine Hyper-Quiet Feature

One of the great things about using resistance bands is that this machine will have a completely silent operation. No worries about bothering your roommates or the neighbors!

The seat rail is also angled so you’ll get more of a workout for your legs since you will need to push yourself uphill.

Most users say that they are shocked at the resistance levels and that this basic machine has given them a more sculpted body.

Downside: No one can say how long the resistance bands will last. I have a set of resistance bands that I’ve had for at least 5 years, but I don’t use them every day. At this price, however, if you were able to use the machine for 5 years, you would have gotten your money’s worth, and you could buy a new one. Or who knows? Perhaps the manufacturer will create replacement bands in a few years!


Even at this price, you’ll find that the LubbyGim has a performance monitor that will track all your basic data. There is no Bluetooth connectivity, but that shouldn’t stop you from using your smartphone to enjoy music.

LCD Monitor Foldable LUBBYGIM Rower Machine

Alternatively, you can set up this budget rowing machine from of your television or balance your tablet on the performance monitor and watch whatever programming suits you.


This piece of fitness equipment might be inexpensive, but it is made from alloy steel, which means that it should last for years.

I can’t say how long the bands will last, but at this price, that shouldn’t be a concern.

LubbyGim warranties this unit for one full year, no questions asked, which is a far better warranty than some of the other more expensive models on this list!

User Weight Capacity

You’ll love this: This very low-priced, super-budget rowing machine has a user weight capacity of 300 pounds. There are rowing machines at three times this price that can’t match this!

LUBBYGIM Hyper-Quiet Compact Foldable Rower Machine dimensions and weight Capacity

The higher the weight capacity the sturdier the machine, so don’t let anyone tell you that a low-priced machine can’t be a high-quality rowing machine!

User Comfort

This features a padded, contoured seat and a handlebar that has foam ends, but again, you might want to invest in some gloves, such as these. Gloves would be a terrific investment since you can use them with any type of exercise machine for decades.

LUBBYGIM rowing machine Easy move and store features

This super budget priced rowing machine also folds and can slide under the bed or fit against a wall for easy storage.

I really think that this little piece of exercise equipment is down right amazing when you consider everything you get for the price.

One Last Note

I hope you will find our compilation of the best budget rowing machines below $500 an invaluable reference as you pursue your fitness goals.

We’ve rated these top machines under 500 based on their resistance, monitor’s usefulness, durability, capacity, and user comfort. However, you are the ultimate judge of the best rower that will work for you.

sportsman training on a water rowing machine

One thing to remember is that whatever rowing machine you choose eventually, it must be one that “speaks to you”. Pick the model that will make you want to wake up early every day and look forward to working out on your erg machine.

We know that any of these rower options will help you reach your fitness goals because we’re confident that these are the best rowers under 500 in their respective resistance category.


1.  Can I get fit just rowing?

Yes, rowing is a great fat-burning exercise that gives you a full-body workout. As an added bonus, it also increases your heart rate and is gentle on your joints. Rowing engages 86% of the muscles in your body so there’s no doubt you can get fit by simply using a rowing machine for a few minutes every day.

2.  Is 20 minutes of rowing enough?

Ultimately, the answer to this question is going to boil down to your experience as a rower and your current fitness level. If you are an experienced rower who is comfortable bumping up your resistance levels to increase your heart rate, then 20 minutes on the machine might be enough for you. However, if you are new to resistance machines, it might be best to do 30 minutes per day.

3.  Will rowing get you ripped?

Yes, rowing will get you ripped. Working out on a rowing machine will help you focus on more muscle groups and definitely help you develop defined muscles.

4.  What is the best rowing machine for home use?

All rowers included in this review are excellent options. Think about your priorities and consider each of the different types of technology before you make your decision. You also want to consider how easy it will be to store the machine as well.

5.  How long should you row for on a rowing machine?

Again, this is going to depend on your experience as an individual. Most experts would recommend a comfortable pace for around 30 minutes per day. As you build up your ability to be on the rowing machine for longer periods, you can also increase the levels on the rower.