man on a rowing machine

Top 5 best inexpensive rowing machines


Best affordable rowing machines

The best inexpensive rowing machines don’t always come with the fancy bells and whistles that other name-brand rowers such as Concept2 rowing machine have to offer. However, these machines will get the job done. Besides, these are often best for beginners or intermediate users looking to get back into shape or maintain some level of activity.


At an affordable budget of about $300 – $500 or less, expect to find more magnetic and hydraulic rowers, than end-end water or air rowers. They’re also best used intermittently and may not withstand long continuous hours of use.


The biggest benefit however is that these rowing machines are compact.  Because they don’t come with many add-on features they don’t take up as much space and are great for those with limited spaces.


In this post, we share with you the best inexpensive rowing machines. These are the best affordable machines to use at home for the ultimate full-body workout.


Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.


If you’re curious or in a hurry:


The 5 Best inexpensive rowing machines

SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

  • 8-levels of adjustable resistance.
  • Magnetic resistance.
  • LCD monitor.
  • Extra-long 48-inch slide rail.
  • Non-slip handlebars.
  • Foldable design.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • 250 lbs max user weight capacity.


This Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rower is the machine for you if you want to burn calories or get back in shape. Just like other machines from Sunny Health, this is a high-quality price of fitness equipment at a very affordable price. A good option if you’re just getting started with your at-home fitness journey or an intermediate user.


This machine provides a simple and inexpensive way to get a good workout in the comfort of your own home. However, this might not be the best machine for seasoned rowers or crew members looking for a serious workout.


Users of up to 250 lbs weight capacity can comfortably use this machine thanks to its alloy steel frame.


When in use, the SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine produces very minimal noise. The only sound you hear is that of the seat as it glides along the rail. Comfortably workout without the fear of causing a disturbance.


With 8-levels of adjustable resistance, you can achieve a moderate to vigorous workout that will have you sweating in no time. Taller users will have no problem using it as it comes with an extra-long 48-inch slide rail.


A simple LCD monitor helps keep track of your workout metrics. Scan it to check your time, distance, count, speed, and total count. After use, just fold it up for storage to save on floor space.



  • Poor quality foot straps
  • Limited resistance

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Magnetic Rower

  • 14-levels of resistance.
  • Magnetic resistance.
  • Contoured seat cushion.
  • Multi-use stabilizer footpads.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • MyCloud Fitness App.
  • Recommended user height 4″9 to 6″6.
  • 250 lbs max user weight limit.


The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Magnetic Rowing Machine is a powerful full-body workout machine. Despite its budget price, what you get is a high-quality rower. Use this rowing machine to take a break from using your treadmill or exercise bike. Fully assembled this machine stands at  88.5″ L x 21.5″ W and weighs about 64lbs.


Its high-quality steel frame is well-built and its solid construction allows it to support user weight capacities of up to 250 lbs max. No wiggling during workouts even at the highest resistance levels.


A dead-silent rowing operation allows you to work out at any time without the fear of noise complaints even on top-floor apartments. The high-quality thick nylon cable used makes it easy to maintain the right posture. You’re guaranteed a clean catch, drive and finish without the bounce.


14-levels of resistance provide just enough tension for both beginners and advanced users to make the most out of each workout session. Even seasoned rowers will find it challenging to outgrowing the resistance.


A standout feature of the fitness reality 1000 plus is the multi-use stabilizer pads. Use these for upper-body workouts such as bent-over rows, curls, and tricep extensions. While this workout might not be beneficial for a competitive lifter, they’re a great way for beginners to get started with light strength training.


Lastly, its foldable design makes it easy to store this machine. Simply fold it up and store it vertically to save on some precious floor space.



  • The folding process is tedious
  • Mycloud fitness app is sub-par at best




MaxKare Magnetic Rower

  • 16 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Magnetic resistance
  • Ergonomic seat cushion
  • Extra-long 49-inch slide rail
  • LCD monitor
  • Foldable design
  • Transporttaion wheels
  • 243 max user weight capacity


Rowing is one of the best exercises to lose weight. It Burns as much as 252 calories in just 30-minutes and this rowing machine will help you achieve it. With the MaxKare rowing machine, you get a great rowing machine that will keep you active or better yet help you lose weight.


Even at its budget price, this rowing machine does exactly what you need it to do.


Once you get started using it you will notice there isn’t much difference with more expensive brand name machines. It doesn’t come with any of the fancy bells and whistles that other more expensive rowers such as Concept2 Rowing Machine but it’s just as good.


It’s one of the few machines that prove expensive is not always better.


Its heavy-duty bracing helps keep the MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine extremely sturdy. No wobbling or shaking when exercising. You’re guaranteed a smooth rowing action at all levels. The cable is nice and very smooth both with the pull and release.


16-levels of magnetic resistance can be adjusted for a good calorie-busting and heart-pumping workout session. Increase it to make your workout more challenging and intense.


Monitor your progress data on the LCD monitor as it tracks your time, distance, reps/min, and calories in real-time.

ECHANFIT Foldable Rowing Machine

  • 16 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Magnetic resistance.
  • Real-time LCD monitor.
  • Foldable design.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • 265 lbs max user weight capacity.


ECHANFIT Foldable Rowing Machine is a basic at-home fitness machine that’s built with all the features you need. This rower can help you achieve your goals be it to build body strength, improve your health, or burn calories.


It’s an excellent rowing machine at an affordable price that feels just as good as the Concept2 rower but without the expensive price tag.


Its heavy-duty steel frame keeps the machine stable and sturdy allowing it to support users of up to 265 lbs. When in use, this rower is very quiet, use it at home without fear of causing a disturbance.


The cable is very firm and tight, it provides for a very nice rowing experience. The slide glides very smoothly with every pull and releases just the way you’d expect it to. The slide rail is long enough for tall users to experience a full range of motion as they row.


Impressive 16-levels of resistance will challenge even the most seasoned of rowers. Do some high-intensity interval training as you alternate different resistance levels to get the most out of your workout session.


For your convenience, the ECHANFIT rowing machine comes with a strategically placed water bottle holder and tablet holder. You don’t have to stop your workout to stay hydrated.


Its foldable design makes storage after use very easy, simply fold the seat and store the machine after use in an unused corner of any room




MaxKare Water Rower

  • Water resistance.
  • Adjustable LCD Display.
  • Foam-padded handles.
  • Large cushioned seat.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • 264 lbs max user weight capacity.


Water rowing machines can be very costly so when you come across an affordable one like this MaxKare water rowing machine, it’s worth a try. You will be pleasantly surprised as this rower exceeds expectations. If you’re looking to mimic the outdoor experience at a budget price, this is the machine to start with.


Every piece of this rowing machine is well constructed and heavy-duty. It doesn’t wobble at all and feels very sturdy when in use and gives a very good workout every time.


A stand-out feature for most water rowing machines is that they feel just like you’re rowing in the water. The hushed sound of the water as it splashes inside the tank is relaxing and pleasant.  The seat rolls very smoothly along the rail, making for an enjoyable workout session.


As a water rower, you’re working with infinite resistance. Fast fill the water tank to the max line and then go as fast to increase resistance or a slow. Its dynamic response will increase resistance with faster strokes and vice versa. An ideal choice for both beginners and advanced growers alike as resistance can be controlled to match all fitness levels.


The foam-padded handles are easy and comfortable to use. Row for long durations without feeling any discomfort on this MaxKare water rowing machine.


Its large monitor is very easy to read as it helps keep track of your progress. With its competition mode, challenge yourself to better evaluate how to improve your workouts.

JOROTO Magnetic Rowing Machine

  • 10-levels of adjustable resistance.
  • Magnetic resistance.
  • Digital monitor.
  • Non-slip pedals.
  • Foam handlebars.
  • Ergonomic seat.
  • Transportation wheels.
  • 300 lbs max user weight capacity.


The JOROTO Magnetic Rowing Machine is a simple, easy-to-use, reliable at-home fitness machine that’s perfect for beginners.  Its limited resistance allows you to learn how to maintain the right posture with your back straight and your core engaged. Besides, it makes for a great addition to any compact home gym with its space-saving design.


With 10-levels of adjustable resistance, this is a great low-impact way to work out every muscle of your body at the same time. In just 25-minutes you should feel your back, shoulder, arms, legs, and thigh muscles getting sore.


However, this is not the best choice if you’re a serious rower seeking a serious workout. Its limited resistance makes it harder for advanced users as they will outgrow it very easily.


Just like other rowing machines in this category, expect a quiet operation. Watch TV or keep up with your favorite shows even as you exercise. Easy to grip foam handles make it easy to maintain your posture as you exercise.


The seat glides very smoothly along the rail making it easy to exercise for longer. The LCD monitor is basic at best but functions just as well. Track your time, calories, reps/min, and distance just as easily.


Inexpensive rowing machine