8 Best Inexpensive Rowing Machine [Reviews 2020] & Buying Guide

The one thing that I usually tell my friends is that you don’t need an expensive rowing machine to keep fit at home. Most people like to lose weight or to stay healthy, but not all of us can afford expensive equipment for that. So how do you keep fit when you are in a busy schedule and less time for outdoor running? –One way to solve that is by going for the best inexpensive rowing machine. 

These days there is no need to break the bank just for exercise equipment. This is because there are several inexpensive rowing machines available and can help you lose weight or keep fit.

Therefore, in this article, we will help you with a review of the best cheap rowing machines that will help you achieve your fitness goals.

Top 5 Best Inexpensive Rowing Machine Comparison in 2020

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILSPrice
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance...
    • Weight: 19 lbs
    • Mat Size: 8 x 4 ft
    • Warranty: LIFETIME
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Sunny Healt & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD...
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Mat Size: 8 x 4 ft
  • Warranty: LIFETIME
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Merax Water Rowing Machine – Fitness Indoor Water Rower...
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Mat Size: 8 x 4 ft
  • Warranty: LIFETIME
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FITNESS REALITY 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing...
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Mat Size: 8 x 4 ft
  • Warranty: LIFETIME
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Waterrower Rowing machine Ash
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Mat Size: 8 x 4 ft
  • Warranty: LIFETIME
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The 8 Best Inexpensive Rowing Machine Reviews


1. The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance...

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If you are looking for a high-quality rowing machine that is commercially graded, then Concept2 Model D is the one for you. This is perhaps the best rated indoor rowing machine currently in the market.

The maximum user-weight of 500 lbs reflects the commercial-grade material used to construct it. This is because it’s made of durable aluminum front legs and steel rear legs.

Another outstanding thing about this machine is that it’s a low impact machine that engages all our muscles. As a result, Model D delivers a smooth, high calorie-burning motion that works on your legs, core, and arms.

Don’t worry about fitting-in because this machine design fits more users. It also features an adjustable footrest, 14-inch seat height, and, more importantly, it is an ergonomic design.

Convenience is another important feature that this rowing machine offer. This is because the machine comes with a Performance Monitor. This monitor can help you track and compare your results by self-calibrating as well as connecting wirelessly with your fitness belt.

However, the machine doesn’t come with the belt; therefore, you will have to purchase it differently.

Apart from being sturdy design, it is also an easy to store machine. This is because it comes with pre-installed caster wheels making it mobility easier. So, if you are going to be moving it from one room to another room, then it is the ideal type to get.

To install –the recommended space for use will be 9 x 4 feet, 96 x 24 x 44.5 inches assembling dimension, and comes with a 5-year frame warranty.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Feature caster wheels for easy mobility
  • Supports weight of up to 500lbs.
  • Designed to fit more users
  • Takes less space

Cons:

  • For active rowers, using the oil every 40 hours can be too much and annoying to them.

2. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

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If you are rolling on a strict budget but still want a rowing machine, then 1050 Body Trac Glider is an ideal choice to go for. Besides being an affordable machine, this rower performs surprisingly well.

It features a hydraulic cylinder resistance that is adjustable for a smoother rowing stroke. This design offers you a full-range-motion making it useful and unique. Also, this motion helps you simulate the actual rowing on the water.

Its multi-function monitors offer you with work out metrics, which are essential in keeping you engaged and motivated. This monitor is an easy-to-read LCD and helps you track time, calories burned, stroke counts, and total accumulated stroke counts.

One thing to note is that this machine is a full-body workout machine, meaning it engages almost all your muscles in the body.

To increase comfort and prevent blisters on your hand, this machine comes with foam-padded handles. Furthermore, it enhances its comfort features by using a molded seat the is pretty comfortable.

Other features that enhance this machine’s comfort and stability are; the BodyTrac Glider, textured footplates with straps, and smooth ball-bearing roller system.

Pros:

  • Offer smooth and quiet performance
  • Allows you to simulate natural outdoor rowing motion
  • Features wheels and you can fold it for secure storage
  • Provide enough challenge for both beginners and intermediate rowers.

Cons:

  • When it comes to higher-intensity workouts, then it isn’t an ideal rower

3. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

FITNESS REALITY 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing...

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Hey, if you are looking for a machine that doesn’t limit you to only one type of exercise, then this rower is the best in that. This is because you can do your rowing workout while standing or sitting. Cool right?

Fitness Reality 1000 magnetic rower is a full-body workout machine that delivers low impact workouts. With this machine, you can work out your legs, thighs, arms, shoulders, and core.

This is also the best Bluetooth rower in the market. Therefore, you can be able to track your workout results with the aid of Bluetooth Smart fitness app that is available for both Android and iOS.

It uses a 14 level dual transmission magnetic tension resistance system to operate. This allows the rower to offer you smooth and more challenging exercises.

It also features a 21.5” handlebar with extra-wide grip foam to provide comfortable grips for different workouts. Also, its large contoured cushion seat offers extra comfort while working out.  

The large 3. 5” LCD helps in tracking time, distance, calories burned, total count, scan, as well as stroke per min. This machine also features a patent-pending front stabilizer foot pads designed for extra exercises.

The additional workouts include bent-over rows, curls, upright rows, standing shoulder presses, triceps extensions, front raises, shrugs, and more. This machine support weight of up to 250 lbs.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble 
  • I feature a simple and easy to read monitor with Bluetooth app
  • Has 14 level of resistance
  • Offers more than one exercises

Cons:

  • A 250lbs weight capacity is a bit low when you compare it to brands like Model D

4. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine Rower w/LCD...

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Water resistance is one of the most effective resistance system used by some rowing machines. This is because water creates a unique, smooth, and steady rowing experience, which is essential for a better rowing workout. 

This machine, therefore, features a flywheel and steel fan blades that are essential in creating resistance. Also, these features are responsible for giving the user a unique rowing experience.

Furthermore, the hydro blades in this machine help simulate the dynamic movement of competitive rowing. Its handles are wide enough to accommodate different hand width, and more importantly, they are non-slip HD handlebars. 

The seat’s design in this rowing machine is one of its most attractive features. Because its design doesn’t force you to bend while getting off the machine.

Furthermore, it is a high-profile seat with a molded pad on it to enhance its comfort. This rower also features an R2 Fitness Miter, a fitness technology that helps you track your workout.

Therefore, you can track time, calories burned, SPM, total strokes, heart rate, ambient temperature, and more.

Finally, the high-density rubber wheels help in transporting it from one place to another.

Pros:

  • Easy to transport and to store
  • Feature a fitness technology and performance monitor that helps you track your exercise
  • Enhanced comfort through padded seat and handlebars foam
  • Uses water resistance which offers a smooth rowing experience

Cons:

  • Upright storage can lead to tank leaking which is an inconvenient

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower

Sunny Healt & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower w/ LCD...

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One of the most popular rowing machines is SF-RW5515 from Sunny Health & Fitness. And just like other inexpensive machines, it is simply designed machine yet with impeccable high-quality performance.  

The machine includes a large monitor designed to display time, calories burned, count, total count, and scan. This helps you track your progress and fitness goals.

The effective scan mode is specifically designed to help you track your workout progress. It also features 8 resistance levels, which are adjusted with just a simple twist.

This means you can improve workout experience by maintaining a challenging exercise throughout the workout.

No need for heavy lifting anymore, thanks to the built-in transport wheel that makes it easy to transport as well as store it. All you need to do is tilt it and roll it to your specific destination.

This design also can be folded to enable easy storage. The non-slip foot pedals with straps and foam grip handlebars help in improving security and comfort, respectively. 

This rowing machine has an extra-long slide rail (44 inches’ inseam length and 48 inches’ slide rail length). This ensures that the rower can fit nearly any height or size of users.

Pros:

  • Feature a transport wheel for easy transportation
  • Can be folded to fit small space storage
  • Features non-slip foot pedals as well as foam grip handlebars for security and comfort.
  • Has an easy-to-see digital monitor 

Cons:

  • It only has 8 resistance levels thus not suitable for higher-intensity exercises

6. Merax Water Rowing Machine

Merax Water Rowing Machine – Fitness Indoor Water Rower...

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Merax Water rowing machine is one of the best water rowing machines that are ideal for indoor use. This is because it requires a small space for installation as well as a small storage space.

You can easily mimic the actual rowing in water by using this water rowing machine. Furthermore, it offers a smooth, soothing glide that improves your focus and comfort.

Besides its appealing outlook, this machine features solid construction that can support the weight of up to 330lbs.

The unique inclined water tank isn’t just for the stylish look, but it helps to boost its resistance. As a result, you will get an effective aerobic workout that promotes your cardio fitness.  

Its multi-feature monitors display rowing intensity accurately through time, distance, heart rate, calories burned, and total strokes. With this machine, you can challenge yourself by switching to the competitive race mode.

One thing that I like most about this design is that it allows customized rowing experience. This means you are free to fill in water to your preferred level of resistance through funnel and pumping. 

Pros:

  • Allows customized rowing experience
  • It is stylish as well as a powerful design
  • It offers smooth rowing that mimics outdoor water rowing experience.
  • Space-saving design

Cons:

  • Lower resistance levels that it doesn’t suit high-intensity workout.

7. WaterRower Rowing Machine Ash

Waterrower Rowing machine Ash

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This rowing machine features a unique design. It is a handcrafted machine that uses water flywheel to mimic that actual rowing feeling. The flywheel is designed to sit in an enclosed tank, which then fills with water when you want to use it.

This flywheel, combined with water, are the ones that provide smooth, quiet, and customizable water resistance. 

If you have less space, don’t worry, this machine will only take less space for both operation and storage.

You can also store this machine in an upright position, thus taking less space. It measures 84 x 21 x 22 inches (W x H x D) and weight 117lbs.

Another cool feature about this machine is that it has almost silent performance thanks to its sturdy construction. The honey oak and solid ash constructions are good at absorbing both vibrations and sounds hence bringing about the quiet operation. 

Finally, a feature that is common in almost all rowing machine –the monitor is also available in this machine. It is an easy-to-see monitor that helps you track your workout intensity, times, heart rate, stroke, distance, and more. 

Pros:

  • Offers a smooth rowing experience that mimics actual rowing feel
  • Easy to use and store
  • It is quite light than most other brands
  • Comes with a three years parts warranty and a five years frame warranty

Cons:

  • This machine is not suitable for competitive athletes or high-intensity trainers

8. Stamina Conversion II

Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Exercise Bike/Rower

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This is probably the best design among all these eight machines we have reviewed. Why? Because Stamina Conversion II is not only a rowing machine but also a recumbent bike.

Therefore, this is a 2 in one machine, which is rare to find. Besides all that, the best machine is defined by your needs.

Stamina Conversion II has invented a better way of having a total body workout by combining the two machines.

So, if you use a rower machine, then you will be focusing on upper body strengthening exercises. This will include working on your bicep curls, forearm curls, and triceps kickbacks.

You can also use the machine as a leg press by merely attaching the rowing handle to the seat hook. And to make you track your fitness goals, this machine comes with a large, easy-to-read monitor.

With the help of this LCD display, you can be able to track time, distance, speed, calories burned, and pulse.

Furthermore, its handlebars come with a built-in hand pulse sensor that helps in monitoring your heart rate.

Pros:

  • It has combined rowing and recumbent machines
  • It features a pulse sensor that helps you track your heart rate
  • It is a full-body workout machine
  • Comes with an easy-to-see monitor that track your fitness goals

Cons:

  • Despite its excellent performance, it doesn’t have high resistance that is suitable for high-intensity workouts

The Best Inexpensive Rowing Machine Buyer’s Guide


When purchasing the best rowing machine, there are several factors to consider, and it can be confusing sometimes. Therefore, I have put the following tips in place to ensure that you bring the home rowing machine.

Remember, they are the things you need to consider or look for in a rowing machine.

  • The Price

Prices of rowing machines are varied depending on whether they are the entry-level or the high-end machines. You will need to consider the features of a specific rowing machine and if its price to suit your budget. You can try following these steps:

  • First, what special feature must be in a type of machine you are going to get (Only the essential and mandatory ones).
  • Then what is its budget? Is it lower or higher than your budget? And can you adjust your budget without any effect? 

These tips help you gauge what type to buy and whether you can adjust the budget without affecting other things.

Best Inexpensive Rowing Machine

  • The Ease of Use

It is a vital factor to put into consideration before you buy a rowing machine. What do you want in it that is simple for you to use and not complicated?

Moreover, you need it to be easy to set it and in storing it. Ensure to focus well on the ease of use of the rowing machine for you to have an easy time during your working outs. 

  • Noise Level

If you may be planning to listen to your favorite music as you row, then you will need to focus on the noise level of a rowing machine. The silent one will be the most ideal for your purchase, but it may not be suitable for every person.

Some fitness enthusiasts have a preference for noise while working because it is a source of motivation for them to work harder in their workout.

Best Inexpensive Rowing Machine

  • Warranty

This is another vital factor that you must put into focus as you buy a rowing machine. The length and warranty type of different rowing machines vary from a brand to the other.

What you require is the one that has a warranty which covers its frames and parts. The high-end rowing machine models come with a warranty, and they last longer.

Furthermore, the entry-level ones require replacements soon. Look at its warranty and make an option for the one with the best warranty for you.

  • Its Portability

A portable rowing machine is one that has wheels and is foldable. If you need to be moving the rowing machine from one particular room to the other, then you need one that is portable to suit your needs.

Make a full choice and obtain the appropriate rowing machine that is portable is you need one with this feature. Therefore, you should look for these features:

  • If it has transport wheels
  • And maybe its weight

Best Rowing Machine for home

  • Durability and its quality

When purchasing a rowing machine, you will be using it to get the most significant benefits out of it. This is the reason why you will need to choose the one that is of good quality and one that is durable. The durability of a rowing machine defines the longevity of it and its usage.

Be keen on these fundamental factors as you buy a rowing machine for your use. After all, you are investing your cash, so ensure to make your investment count by having a durable and quality rowing machine. 

  • Comfort

Comfort is an essential factor to consider as you are working out. It is therefore vital for you to look at a rowing machine that has good, padded seats and foam handles, which will aid in safeguarding your hands. When you have all the comforts that you need, then you will concentrate on your workout routines and enjoy it.

  • Space Consideration

This is another vital aspect to consider when buying a rowing machine. You will need to purchase a rowing machine that will fit your workout space. Rowing machines usually are longer than any other exercise machine

Therefore, you will need to take the dimensions of the rowing machines that will fit well into your gym workout space. You will also require enough space to enable your hands to move in a free manner. 

  • The Maximum User Weight

Another crucial aspect of putting into consideration is the maximum user weight of a rowing machine. Rowing machines handle a high amount of weights as compared to the other gym equipment. Some of the rowers are not strong enough to control heavy-duty usage.

You will need to know the maximum weight that the rowing machine can handle as you purchase one.  Ensure that all the individuals who will be using the rowing machine fall in the recommended weight range of the manufacturer. 

  • Customer Support

Before you make an option of buying any product from a company, you need to examine if they have proper responsive customer support. This is important for you because in case you may require any clarification about the product, then excellent customer service will give all the details.

Check for the availability of the customer support when you purchase your rowing machine, and you will get full information about the use of it. 

  • Resistance Types

The design of the rowing machine is the same, but they have different resistance. There are four types of resistance that rowing machine provides namely;

  • Air Resistance; the air resistance rowers are mainly found in the fitness centers, and they give smooth and natural rowing stroke.
  • Magnetic resistance; they are usually quiet and very essay in maintenance, and they deliver very smooth rowing motion.
  • Hydraulic resistance; the hydraulic rowers are mainly on the affordable scale end and are essay to store and compact.
  • Water resistance; the loved feature of the water resistance rowers is a lifelike rowing experience which they usually provide you.

In addition to these types of resistance, you have to consider if a rowing machine allows you to select an amount of resistance that you require. You can begin slowly and increase your resistance as you become stronger and fitter.

  • Its Stability

When you are using a rowing machine, you will get movements when using it. In case you want to reduce the chances of hopping, then you will need to buy a rowing machine that attaches itself to the floor.

Rowing machines varies depending on its stability, and what you need is a rowing machine that will allow you to get proper high power training.


Frequently Asked Questions


  • Should you purchase a rowing machine?

A rowing machine can be a good investment for you, just like any available gym equipment. If you desire to stay fit at your home, then you need to fully understand the benefits of a rowing machine before you buy it.

You should also be keen on what type of rowing machine you need since not all designs can fit your physique. Ensure to consult an expert for you to obtain the right one that will satisfy your needs.

  • How long should I row on a rowing machine?

This depends on your endurance as well as fitness goals. In case you want to lose your weight, you need to row for at least 1 hour daily and 3 times weekly. If you need muscle practice, then you need to row more intensely for maybe 30minutes every day.

Schedule yourself well for you to use the rowing machine well to get satisfactory results. But if you’re a beginner, don’t push too hard, just start from low settings and gradually increase time and resistance.

  • What is the best rowing machine to buy?

There is no specific universal best rowing machine. There are several rowing machines that you need to choose from to suit your own needs. You can do comprehensive research on the various features of the rowing machine for you to obtain your favorite. Bottomline is, the best rowing machine is the one that suits you best.

  • Can a rowing machine help you lose weight?

Yes, a rowing machine can help you lose weight, but what is important is learning how to use it to lose weight effectively. Therefore, you can learn tips and tricks of maximizing rowing machine in order to lose weight fast. Moreover, for you to lose weight, it will also depend on how consistent you are.

  • How long should a beginner use a rowing machine?

As a beginner, you need to start with about 30 minutes daily, and you can increase the minutes every day. With time you will begin to notice changes on your chest, arms, and on your legs. You can then continue more regularly until you get used to it. Its all about a gradual improvement in both time and your body. 

  • Can a rowing machine help in reducing my belly fat?

Yes, the good thing that comes with the use of a rowing machine is that it can significantly help you in losing your body fat. This results in losing the belly fat for you, but you will also have to learn how to use a rowing machine properly to lose your belly fat.


Final Thought


Overall, all the highlighted and reviewed rowing machines will offer exceptional performance. The only drawback is that it is not suitable for professional athletes since it provides less intensity resistance.

Unless they are nursing an injury, then they are the ideal choice for that since they offer low impact workouts. Apart from all that, these machines are useful machines for cardio workouts, keeping fit, and losing weight.

They help you keep your body active and healthy, and those are assured benefits you will get from them.  

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jeff Warren
 

This Is Jeff Warren founder of Exercise Bike Advisor. I know well about Exercise Bike, Spin bike, Recumbent bike, Upright bike, Cardio Equipment's brands as well. That's why I decided that to share my knowledge with others. My main goal is to help the people who are really health conscious and keen to stay fit all the time.

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