5 Best Rowing Machines Under $500

Rowing machines are great for getting fit and can be affordable too. Some rowing machines cost less than $500 but still have many good things to help you exercise. When looking at these machines, think about how they resist your pull, if they are strong enough, if they will fit in your home, and how much money you want to spend.

We’ll look at the XTERRA Fitness ERG220 Rower which is well made and costs $299.98. There’s also the Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge that feels like rowing on water and has a big screen to show your workout details.

The Stamina ATS Air Rower uses air for resistance while keeping track of your fitness for $309.00, and the foldable Marcy machine is easy for beginners with eight levels of difficulty costing $384.99.

Lastly, there’s a rower called Fitness Reality Dual Transmission that teaches you workouts through an app.

Each machine offers different benefits whether it’s saving space or guiding you through exercises – making sure there’s something for everyone who wants to get stronger at home without spending too much money.

Let’s explore each one more closely!

Key Features to Consider When Buying a Rowing Machine

A person using a rowing machine in a home workout.

Before you dive into the array of rowing machines on the market, it’s crucial to understand the essential features that will ensure you get an effective and enjoyable workout. Making a smart choice involves assessing factors beyond just cost; durability, resistance mechanisms, and how well they fit into your living space should all drive your decision.

Resistance type

Finding the right resistance type in a rowing machine is key for a good workout. Rowers can come with different ways to make your exercise harder. Some use water or air to create resistance.

This feels more like real rowing on water and can be fun. Others have magnets or hydraulics that are quiet and smooth, which is great for keeping noise down.

These types also let you adjust how hard your workout is, so you can grow stronger over time. Hydraulic and magnetic systems are designed to give you a steady feel every time you pull.

Choosing one depends on what kind of rowing experience you want and how much space you have at home for the machine. Next, we’ll look at why build quality matters in choosing your perfect rowing partner!

Build quality

Good build quality means your rowing machine will last longer. You want a rower that feels strong and does not break easily. The XTERRA Fitness Rower gets top marks for being well made.

It has a steel frame that stands up to lots of use. Sunny Health Fitness Obsidian Surge also scores well in the build area.

Looking at the Stamina ATS Air Rower, it too shines with great construction. These machines hold up even when you work out hard over time. Still, remember some budget-friendly rowers might have parts that are not as tough as more expensive ones.

Before buying, check if the machine has a sturdy feel and does not wobble when you pull hard. Make sure all pieces fit snug and nothing seems weak or shaky.

Now let’s move on to how much space a rowing machine will need in your home.

Space and storage

Rowing machines fit well in small spaces because many can fold up. This is great for workout space at home, where room might be tight. Look for a rowing machine that you can easily tuck away when not using it.

Some models have wheels, which make them simple to move around.

Before going on to pick the right rower for you, think about how much space you have. The compact design of these machines helps keep your home gym neat and ready for exercise any time.

Now let’s explore some top-rated rowing machines that could be perfect for your fitness goals and living space.


After finding a rowing machine that fits your space, you’ll want to consider how much it costs. Good news: there are plenty of options under $500! You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a great workout at home.

Many rowing machines come with discounts that make them even more affordable. With prices ranging from just under $120 up to $899, you’re sure to find something that works for your budget.

Some rowers have special deals where their actual price is slashed—so keep an eye out for those savings! Investing in one doesn’t mean breaking the bank; it means getting fit without spending too much cash.

Top-Rated Rowing Machine: XTERRA Fitness Rower

The XTERRA Fitness Rower in a modern home gym setting.

Discover why the XTERRA Fitness Rower is a favorite among fitness enthusiasts, offering impressive features for an effective and engaging workout—continue reading to uncover its potential to transform your fitness routine.

Features & Description (XTERRA Fitness Rower)

The XTERRA Fitness Rower packs a punch for those looking to boost their physical fitness. With 16 magnetic resistance levels, this rowing machine lets you adjust your workout’s challenge as you get stronger.

It costs just $299.98 and is perfect for both newbies and seasoned rowers. The digital monitor keeps track of your progress by showing how fast, how long, and how much work you’re doing.

This indoor rower offers a full body workout that targets muscles in your arms, legs, and back while also improving cardiovascular health. Its ergonomic foot pedals make sure your feet stay comfortable during intense sessions.

Whether aiming for weight loss or enhancing aerobic activity, the XTERRA Fitness Rower is a solid choice under $500.

Moving on to the next top-rated machine..

Pros & Cons (XTERRA Fitness Rower)

When considering the XTERRA Fitness Rower, potential buyers should weigh the advantages and disadvantages to make an informed decision. This rower offers a compelling mix of features at a reasonable price point; however, all products have their trade-offs. Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons:

Affordable at $299.98, fitting well within the budgetMay lack the advanced features of higher-end models
16 levels of magnetic resistance cater to various fitness levelsResistance might not satisfy elite athletes seeking extreme challenges
Durable construction ensures longevity and stability during workoutsSize may be too bulky for very small spaces when not folded
Convenient folding design aids in easy storageHeavier users may find the weight capacity limiting
Smooth and quiet operation allows for use in shared living spacesSome users may prefer the natural feel of water or air resistance

Gauging these pros and cons against individual needs and preferences will help determine if the XTERRA Fitness Rower is the right fit for one’s home gym.

Best Water Rowing Machine: Sunny Health Fitness Obsidian Surge

A person rowing on a serene lake at sunrise in various outfits.

Discover the fluidity and natural resistance of the Sunny Health Fitness Obsidian Surge, a top water rowing machine that brings the essence of outdoor rowing right into your home gym—keep reading to unlock your best cardio workout yet.

Features & Description (Sunny Health Fitness Obsidian Surge)

The Sunny Health Fitness Obsidian Surge is a top pick for water rowing machines under $500. Its water resistance system gives you the feeling of real rowing on water, making your cardio workouts more fun and effective.

This machine can hold up to 285 lbs and has 16 levels of tension. That means you can make the workout as easy or hard as you want.

This rower also comes with a big LCD screen that helps track your fitness numbers. You’ll see how fast you’re going, how much time you’ve been working out, and other important info.

It’s built sturdy to last long but doesn’t cost too much money – staying under the $500 mark makes it great for those on a budget who still want a solid machine for their home gym.

Pros & Cons (Sunny Health Fitness Obsidian Surge)

The Sunny Health Fitness Obsidian Surge stands out in the sub-$500 category for its exceptional water resistance feature, offering users a realistic rowing experience. Its popularity is fueled by its high ratings in build quality and feature set. Understandably, the pricing is a bit of a stretch for some, but it’s justified by the value it provides.

Realistic water resistance provides a feel akin to actual rowing.At a 4.0 rating, the price may be slightly higher for budget-conscious individuals.
A sturdy build, scoring a high 4.5, ensures durability and stability during workouts.Water-based resistance might require more maintenance compared to other types.
Impressive feature score of 4.8, providing users with a high-quality experience.Some may find the machine bulky compared to compact, non-water resistance models.
It offers a smooth and quiet operation, suitable for home use without disturbing others.Occasionally, the tank may need refilling, which could be a minor inconvenience.
Provides a full-body workout that is both efficient and effective for all fitness levels.While it is foldable, it still takes up a considerable amount of space when in use.

This machine suits a wide audience, from beginners to seasoned rowers, enhancing physical fitness with its robust features.

Best Air Rowing Machine: Stamina ATS Air Rower

A person rowing on the Stamina ATS Air Rower in a home gym.

Discover the thrill of an invigorating cardio workout with the Stamina ATS Air Rower, a top choice that seamlessly blends durability and performance for under $500 – keep reading to find out how it could amplify your fitness routine.

Features & Description (Stamina ATS Air Rower)

The Stamina ATS Air Rower stands out as a top choice for fitness fans looking for a powerful workout. You’ll feel the smooth motion of rowing and the push of resistance with every stroke, thanks to its smart air resistance system that adjusts based on how hard you row.

It’s priced just right at $309.00 and won’t break the bank.

This machine has features that make your exercise time both fun and fruitful. Keep track of your speed, distance, time, and calories burned on the clear LCD display. The sturdy build promises lasting use in your home gym while saving space is not an issue; it’s easy to store away when you’re done sweating it out.

With great reviews praising its resistance levels, this air rower fits perfectly into any home workout routine.

Pros & Cons (Stamina ATS Air Rower)

Moving from an exploration of the Stamina ATS Air Rower’s features to a critical assessment, let’s weigh its strengths and weaknesses through a pros and cons analysis. This evaluation can guide fitness enthusiasts in making an informed decision about whether this rowing machine aligns with their workout goals and budget constraints.

  • Affordably priced at $309.00, offering value for money.
  • Equipped with an LCD display for tracking workout metrics.
  • Well-suited for home gyms due to its efficient resistance.
  • User-friendly design promotes simplicity in assembly and use.
  • Sturdy frame supports a variety of user weights.
  • Limited resistance options may not cater to advanced users.
  • No backlit display, which could hinder visibility in low light.
  • Lacks built-in workout programs for guided fitness routines.
  • Some users may require additional seat cushioning for comfort.
  • May be noisy during operation compared to magnetic or water rowers.

As evident from the table, the Stamina ATS Air Rower comes with features that serve the purpose of a home-based workout machine while also highlighting areas where enhancements might be desirable.

Best Foldable Rowing Machine: Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rower

Explore the versatility and space-saving design of the Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rower, a top choice for fitness enthusiasts looking to maximize their workout in the comfort of their home—discover more about its user-friendly features and how it could enhance your exercise routine.

Features & Description (Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rower)

The Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rower offers a great workout for those looking to get fit. This rowing machine has eight levels of resistance that you can change easily. You’ll feel comfortable sitting on its cozy seat as you pull and push your way to better health.

The machine folds up, so it won’t take up much space in your home when you’re not using it.

You can watch your progress on the digital monitor that shows how long you’ve been rowing, how many strokes you’ve done, and the total number over time. It’s also built for tall people with a 48-inch rail length and 44-inch inseam length.

Get ready to boost your fitness with this indoor rower.

Up next: let’s look at the pros & cons of this ideal beginner-friendly choice.

Pros & Cons (Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rower)

Understanding the advantages and limitations of any fitness equipment is crucial, and the Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rower is no exception. Here’s a concise breakdown of its pros and cons:

Comes with eight levels of adjustable magnetic resistance, catering to various fitness levels.Basic features might not satisfy advanced users looking for high-intensity workouts.
Features a comfortable seat, enhancing the overall workout experience.Low levels of resistance may not provide sufficient challenge for seasoned athletes.
Its foldable design allows for convenient storage, saving space in your home.Reduced weight capacity could be a limiting factor for heavier individuals.
Includes transport wheels, making it easy to move and set up where needed.Smaller size may not accommodate taller users comfortably.
Priced at $384.99, offering a cost-effective solution for beginners.Lower quality componentry may affect long-term durability.
Boasts a basic display for tracking workout progress, keeping you informed.May lack the advanced tracking features found in higher-end models.
Provides a natural and smooth rowing experience without jerking movements.Warranty coverage is limited compared to more expensive machines.
Assembly is straightforward, with many users reporting positive experiences.Customer service and parts availability could be improved.

Selecting the Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rower represents a smart choice for those starting on their fitness journey, looking for a budget-friendly, space-efficient piece of equipment that offers fundamental workout functionality.

Best Rowing Machine With Guided Workouts: Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Rower

Experience immersive training with the Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Rower, featuring on-demand workouts and expert coaching to effortlessly guide your fitness journey – discover its full potential now.

Features & Description (Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Rower)

The Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Rower combines air and magnetic resistance for a smooth workout. With 14 different resistance levels, you can challenge yourself no matter your fitness level.

It has a sturdy 40-inch slide rail for tall or short users. This machine also lets you connect to the MyCloud Fitness app. The app offers guided workouts to help keep your exercises fresh and exciting.

This rowing machine is made for everyone who wants to get fit. You can track your progress on its simple display as you row towards better health. If space is an issue, don’t worry! The rower folds up so you can store it easily after your sweat session.

It’s perfect for any home gym where space counts and fitness goals are important.

Pros & Cons (Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Rower)

Weighing the advantages and drawbacks of the Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Rower is crucial for making an informed purchasing decision. This rower boasts 14 resistance levels and a sturdy 40-inch slide rail, catering to various fitness levels. Here’s an insightful look at its benefits and limitations.

Combines air and magnetic resistance for a smooth rowing experienceMay exceed the budget for some users looking strictly for under $500
Offers access to the MyCloud Fitness app for a range of guided workoutsAssembly can be challenging for some individuals
Includes 14 levels of resistance, accommodating both beginners and advanced usersBasic display might not satisfy those seeking advanced metrics
Designed with a 40-inch slide rail, fitting most user heights comfortablyDespite its foldability, it might still be bulky for very small spaces
Folding design and built-in transport wheels enhance portability and storageResistance may not be sufficient for elite athletes looking for extreme challenge

With the pros and cons clearly outlined, it’s easier to determine if the Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Rower aligns with your fitness goals. Moving on, let’s explore the benefits that rowing machines offer to enhance physical health and stamina.

The Benefits of Using a Rowing Machine

Rowing machines work almost every part of your body. They make your muscles strong and improve heart health. With a rowing machine, you can do cardio and strength training at the same time.

This means it’s good for losing weight and building muscle without hurting your joints.

Using a rowing machine helps you burn calories fast. It’s easier on your knees than running on a treadmill. Plus, it boosts endurance and keeps lungs healthy too! Rowers are great because they give you an intense workout that is also relaxing for the mind.

They fit well in homes and don’t need much space if they fold up. So, rowing is both powerful exercise and smart choice for fitness at home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rowing Machines

Rowing machines are a great way to get fit. They work many muscles and can improve heart health. Here are some questions people often ask about rowing machines:

  • What muscles does a rowing machine work?
  • Can you lose weight with a rowing machine?
  • How long should I row for a good workout?
  • Is rowing better than running or cycling?
  • Do I need special shoes to use a rowing machine?
  • What is the best resistance type for home rowers?
  • How do I know if my form is correct when using the machine?


Getting a good rowing machine under $500 is possible, and we’ve talked about some great options. These machines offer different types of resistance and features to fit your home and budget.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Obsidian Surge lets you feel like you’re rowing on water, while the Stamina ATS Air Rower promises smooth air resistance. Fold it up with Marcy’s Magnetic Resistance Rower when space is tight.

Or learn new moves with the Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Rower’s guided workouts.

Each model has strong points whether it’s build quality or extra features like bluetooth connectivity. This means better workouts at home for less money. Remember, even with less to spend, you don’t have to give up on keeping fit or reaching those fitness goals!