10 Best Budget Rowing Machines (2020 Reviews)

Make Your Dream Shape Happen With Best Affordable Rowing Machines

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By BEMH • Updated: June 3, 2020

If you’re looking for a low impact exercise that gives you a full-body workout, then you should definitely consider a budget rowing machine.

These budget rowing machines for home use give one of the most complete workout options of any exercise machine out there while being simple and easy to use. And offering better options for those who may have joint issues.

Many people are a little intimidated when they begin the search and don’t know what to look for. Some of these rowing machines in the US will cost you a pretty penny, but not all of them are pricey models.

Some are affordable home rowing machines that can fit in with any home gym. When trying to decide, having some knowledge under your belt will help you make the right choice. Resistance is the most important part to keep in mind when buying the best low budget rowing machine.

Mainly there are three types of resistance; water (authentic rowing feel but requires maintenance), air (less maintenance but loud), and magnetic rowers (silent but not authentic rowing feel).

Size can also play a major role in choosing the best home rowing machine for low budget as some machines are fairly large and some not. While some can be folded up or even disassembled easily, others can’t be. Now that you know a bit more about what to consider, let’s review some of the best budget rowing machines on the market.

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Last updated on November 28, 2020 8:29 pm

Best Affordable Rowing Machines Compared

Most Affordable Rowing Machines Comparison Table
ROWER NAMEPOWER IMAGEEXERCISE FEEDBACKUSER WEIGHTFOLDABLE FRAMEROWER RESISTANCEROWER PRICE
XTERRA Fitness ERG700 low-cost Home RowerBacklit, watt, resistance, distance, time, stroke count, calories, heart rate350 LbsYes, this budget rower folds up16-Level air magnetic resistance
Circuit Fitness low-budget Water Rowing MachineNo-backlit, distance, time, stroke count, calories, heart rate300 LbsNo, this affordable rower doesn't fold upDynamic water resistance
JOROTO Affordable Magnetic Rowing MachineNo-backlit, time, stroke count, calories250 LbsNo, this affordable rower doesn't fold up10-Level magnetic resistance
MARNUR Reasonably Priced Water Rowing MachineNo-backlit, distance, time, stroke count, calories300 LbsNo, this affordable rower doesn't fold upDynamic water resistance
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Cheap RowerNo-backlit, time, count, calories, total count, scan250 LbsYes, this low-cost rower folds up8-Level magnetic resistance
Stamina ATS Home Use Low-Cost Air RowerNo-backlit, distance, time, stroke count, calories250 LbsYes this budget air rower folds upDynamic air resistance
MaxKare Low-Price Water Rowing MachineNo-backlit, distance, time, stroke count, calories264 LbsNo, this inexpensive rower doesn't fold upDynamic water resistance
Merax Indoor Budget Magnetic Exercise RowerNo-backlit, time, count, calories, total count, scan264 LbsYes, this budget rowing machine folds up8-Level magnetic resistance
MaxKare Reasonably-Priced Air Rowing Machine
maxkare budget air rower
No-backlit, time, stroke count, calories220 LbsYes this budget air rower folds upAdjustable air resistance

Editor’s Best Budget Indoor Rowing Machine Choice!

My colleagues have already picked the best budget rowing machines and reviewed them down below. But there are two reason that I decided to create the Editor’s Choice.

One, because the new inexpensive rowing machines become available on a daily basis so I want you to be aware of the best reasonably priced rowing machine. Second, because our budget rowing machine review includes 9 options which can get difficult to pick one.

Now that you know why I created this section, let’s see which is the best bargain indoor rowing machine that might suit your needs. Based on several criteria, I picked the Circuit Fitness for the best budget water rowing machine and the JOROTO for the best budget magnetic rowing machine. Lastly, for the best budget air rower, I picked the ProForm 550R.

Aside from the fact that these are awesome low-cost home exercise rowing machines, some of them also have a few really great features including backlit monitor and folding design.


Quick Overview Of Best Budget Rowing Machines:

  1. XTERRA Fitness ERG700 low-cost Home Rower
  2. Circuit Fitness low-budget Water Rowing Machine
  3. JOROTO Affordable Magnetic Rowing Machine
  4. MARNUR Reasonably Priced Water Rowing Machine
  5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Cheap Rower
  6. Stamina ATS Home Use Low-Cost Air Rower
  7. MaxKare Low-Price Water Rowing Machine
  8. Merax Indoor Budget Magnetic Exercise Rower
  9. MaxKare Reasonably-Priced Air Rowing Machine

9 Top Budget Rowers in 2020:

1. XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Low-Cost Home Rower

This inexpensive portable air-mag rowing machine utilizes a combination of magnetic and air resistance, giving you 16 different levels to choose from. For someone looking for a machine to work both cardio and strength training, having such a wide variety of resistance levels is crucial.

The frame is steel to support up to 350 pounds for those on the heavier side. This one also features a 5.5” backlit console that can be adjusted for ease of use while working out. ERG700 inexpensive fold up rowing machine also comes with some programs to give you different workouts for different results such as increasing distance, burning fat, or building strength.

The handles are contoured for a better feel and padded for longer use. However, one reviewer mentioned that those with broad shoulders may find the length of the handle uncomfortably short. It was also mentioned that the seat is on the narrower side and some may want to use extra padding for longer workouts.

But this machine does stand 20” off the ground making it easier for those with joint or mobility issues to get on and off. This machines can be folded up to take less space when not in use, making is great for those with limited space or who use more than one piece of equipment.

When you order this machine through the company, it comes with a limited 5 year warranty on the parts and a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, but some reviews mentioned the customer service wasn’t that great. Overall it’s a good option that can provide all the rowing machine benefits for an affordable price.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    97” x 18” x 38”
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    52.5” x 18” x 62”
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    350 lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    80.9 lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    Because this machine does utilize a combination of air, you can expect some noise.
  • Where can I buy this budget rower?
    You can find the XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower for purchasing or to learn more at xterrafitness or on the Amazon website at a reasonable price with free shipping included.

Pros:

  • Backlit console with exercise programs16 resistance levels
  • High seating for mounting and dismounting ease
  • Can be folded for storage

Cons:

  • Short handle
  • Air resistance means noisier
  • Narrow seat

2. Circuit Fitness low-budget Water Rowing Machine

If you’re looking for a water rowing machine that gives you a great overall experience, the Circuit Fitness rowing machine is a great choice. The aesthetic blue design and the pleasant-sounding water resistance helps to submerge users into the sense of real rowing.

Unlike other water rowing machines under $500, this one has a slanted tank to increase the resistance level it’s capable of achieving, though it does still need the water level to be changed in order to adjust how much strength it takes to use.

The frame is steel, so this rowing machine can support up to 300 lbs, and the handle is 19” long to help all users feel comfortable with longer rowing machine workouts. To add to the user’s comfort, the seat is 12.5” by 10” and contoured for more pleasant longer workouts and the footrest is 12”, giving a wider variety of users an easier time.

The monitor is an LCD model to give you your workout results, so those who like the fancier gadgetry will not be satisfied with this simpler option, though it does offer a race mode to help you get a better workout. This rowing machine stands up for storage to take up less space while not in use and has wheels so you can easier roll it into a corner or closet while not using it.

One reviewer mentioned that while the seat moved easily, it wasn’t as smooth as they would prefer, and more than one had an issue with the monitor not displaying correct results while on certain settings. Although, generally speaking, this budget rower has one of the highest ratings which is difficult to receive on Amazon.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    46” x 26” x 23”
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    79” x 21” x 22.8”
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    300 lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    85 lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    Since this machine uses water resistance, you will hear water sloshing while in use.
  • Where to buy this inexpensive air rowing exercise machine?
    There doesn’t seem to be a way to purchase the Circuit Fitness Water Rowing Machine online directly from CF, though you can find it on Amazon

Pros:

  • Water rowing machines felt the closest to real rowing
  • Sounds like water sloshing
  • Unique slanted tank
  • More comfortable for long workouts
  • Stand upright for storage
  • Pleasant design

Cons:

  • Possibly not a smooth glide
  • No options to adjust the resistance level

3. JOROTO Affordable Magnetic Rowing Machine

Another quiet machine, the JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine uses a no-touch magnetic system to reduce noise and give the user a more fluid motion. The aluminum frame doesn’t support as much as the previous two, only taking up to 250 lbs, but this one easily adjusts through 10 levels of resistance with the turn of a dial.

This one comes with a digital monitor, so once again those craving more tech options during their workouts will be disappointed, but this one has a convenient place to put your phone right below the monitor so you can use a workout app or watch something entertaining while also keeping an eye on your exercise results. The monitor can also be angled for better use.

This machine also has a convenient cup holder so you can keep a water bottle at hand for longer workouts and less interruptions. One aspect that many will find to be a pleasant fact is that this one does not require being plugged in, making it easier to find a place for this rowing machine.

It also stands up for storage when not in use and takes up a relatively small space when standing and wheels for easy moving. This machine is also fairly lightweight. A big downside to this machine is that the flywheel is exposed.

While this may not seem like a big deal, anyone with pets or small children may need to complete their workout in a separate room to avoid any unwanted accidents. Another thing to watch out for is many reviewers had an issue with the light frame not living up to their ideal level of durability.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    71” x 21” x 36”
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    22” x 21” x 71”
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    250 lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    53 lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    This machine is very quiet as it uses magnetic resistance.
  • Where to buy the Joroto rowing machine at low cost?
    You can find the JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine on the manufacturer’s site or directly on Amazon for an affordable price.

Pros:

  • No-touch glide for an incredibly quiet workout
  • Electronic device stand
  • 10 levels of resistance
  • Stands upright for storage

Cons:

  • Frame not as durable
  • Open flywheel may be dangerous
  • Low tech monitor

4. MARNUR Reasonably Priced Water Rowing Machine

Seen in most budget water rowing machine reviews, this rower uses an aluminum frame like the JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine, however, it has a double-track design for smoother and more durable capabilities.

It can support up to 300 lbs and uses water resistance for that natural feeling resistance. While this does mean that resistance levels must be adjusted by changing the water levels, many rowing machine users like this feature and will adjust their speed for a more intense workout instead of using it to build strength.

For those who do want to increase their strength, the MARNUR Water Rowing Machine has a large tank to give you more range for resistance.

More than one review mentioned how confusing the assembly for this machine was, and that they were not sure all the pieces were included. The LCD monitor was outdated, though the monitor does adjust a bit.

The foot pedals have an anti-slip design to help keep users’ feet in the right place and prevent slipping during the more intense workouts. This rowing machine also stands up for storing away, and can be used indoors or outdoors.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    84” x 23”
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    There didn’t seem to be any information on this.
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    300 Lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    92 Lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    This machine will sound like water moving while in use.
  • Where to find this budge water rowing machine?
    The MARNUR Water Rowing Machine can be found on Amazon for an affordable price, A-Z grantee and free shipping included.

Pros:

  • Water-resistance offers natural rowing sensation
  • Large water tank
  • Stands upright for storage

Cons:

  • Not an easy assembly
  • No dial adjustable resistance

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Cheap Rower

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine has 8 levels of magnetic resistance you can choose from in order to get the cardio workouts and strength training easily in one machine. Because it’s magnetic, it offers a quieter exercise session.

This machine also comes with an LCD monitor, but with an added ability that gives you an easy cycling display of your various stats in order to keep you from needing to push buttons.

However, many reviewers mentioned problems with the monitor as soon as they received this machine. The slide rail is made longer than many machines to accommodate those taller users, though the maximum weight is only 250 lbs.

There were multiple reviews that said this machine broke or seemed to be working improperly after a short time of use, and that customer service was not helpful. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine does fold up and have wheels to be able to store it away and move it easily while it’s not being used.

Once again, the magnetic resistance offers a quiet option for those who live in apartments or with others, and for those who like a more peaceful workout.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    82” x 19” x 23”
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    37” X 19” X 53. 5”
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    250 Lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    59 Lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    Yes, it will be a quieter machine as it uses magnetic resistance.
  • Where can I buy this budget magnetic rower?
    You can find the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine to purchase at sunny health fitness or Amazon website.

Pros:

  • Scan option on the monitor to reduce need to push buttons
  • Folds up for easy storage
  • 8 levels of resistance
  • Longer rail

Cons:

  • May be unreliable craftsmanship
  • Reported problems with monitor

6. Stamina ATS Home Use Low-Cost Air Rower

Many rowing machine users prefer air resistance over the other options due to its ability to automatically adjust the resistance level based on your speed in order to give you the best workout possible with fewer interruptions. These low-cost fold away rowing machines will usually need a little less maintenance as the air does less wear and tear to the parts and there’s no water to worry about syphoning or filling.

The seat is cushioned for increased comfort during those longer workouts. Assembly is easy, though it may prove time-consuming for some as a few reviewers stated that the Stamina ATS Air Rower seems to come in more pieces than some other rowing machines on the market.

The Stamina ATS Air Rower has an LCD monitor to measure your workouts stats. The rail is slanted and offers a smooth glide, but there were many reviewers claiming an issue with a spring repeatedly breaking. Several claimed that the manufacturer is aware of this issue and has not come up with a solutions as of yet.

However, there were others who seemed to not have this same problem so it could be a user error. That maximum weight the Stamina ATS Air Rower can support is 250 lbs, and the company sites a 3 year limited warranty on the frame and a 2 year limited warranty on the parts.

Although the air machines have the benefits of automatic resistance adjustment and less wear and tear, they do make more noise and therefore won’t work for every living situation.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    77” x 18” x 22”
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    48” x 18” x 28”
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    250 lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    52 lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    Because it uses air resistance, it will be louder and sound similar to a floor fan.
  • Where can you purchase this low-cost air rower?
    The Stamina ATS Air Rower can be purchased at the stamina or Amazon website.

Pros:

  • Easy assembly
  • Air resistance machines usually require less maintenance
  • Automatic resistance adjustments

Cons:

  • May be an ongoing issue with a spring
  • Air is louder than other types of resistance
  • Maybe time-consuming to assemble

7. MaxKare Low-Price Water Rowing Machine

The MaxKare Water Rowing Machine offers that realistic rowing sensation and calm sound of the water-resistance models. It has a steel frame that will support up to 264 lbs and can be stored upright to reduce how much space it’s taking while not in use.

The LCD monitor it comes with is larger than some of the others on this list, so it’s great for those with vision issues and displays multiple workout stats so you can see your progress. It’s also adjustable so users of various heights will be able to view their information conveniently.

The seat is contoured to offer a comfortable workout session for those who like to exercise for longer periods of time and the water tank is just clear so you can easily see what level you’re at. Like all water resistance rowers, if you want to increase the level of resistance for strength training you will need to adjust the level of the water, which can involve syphoning out some.

If you just want a great cardio workout, you simply adjust your speed to accommodate your needs. There was some claims of leakage when the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rower was stored upright, but this may have simply been due to an overfilled tank as that will result in leaks.

A few reviewers mentioned that they felt the resistance, even when the tank was at the maximum amount, was not enough for their workout and that they weren’t satisfied with the resistance for their goals.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    There didn’t seem to be any information on this.
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    There didn’t seem to be any information on this.
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    264 lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    86 lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    It will sound like water moving while in use.
  • Where can I find this budget indoor rower?
    This model doesn’t seem to be available directly from MaxKare anymore, but you can still find it on Amazon.

Pros:

  • Water resistance for a natural rowing sensation
  • Large LCD monitor
  • Can be stood upright for storage

Cons:

  • May leak
  • No dial adjustable resistance
  • Does not offer a more intense level of resistance

8. Merax Indoor Budget Magnetic Exercise Rower

Some rowing machine users want that easy control of resistance levels while still keeping the pleasantly quiet workout. That’s why magnetic resistance rowers under $500 are so popular.

The Merax Magnetic Exercise Rower offers 8 different levels to accommodate multiple exercise goals and give users great results. It also allows for multiple angled adjustments to the footplates and seat to give the user the most comfortable workout possible.

The foot straps are on the larger side to make it easier for smaller and larger feet. The sturdy frame can support up to 264 lbs and can be folded for storage.

It also features wheels for easy moving while not in use so it can be tucked away out of sight. The Merax Magnetic Exercise Rower has an LCD monitor for your exercise readings and to help you keep track of your progress.

The tilted frame helps to decrease the noise as well as increase durability and lowering the resistance from sliding. The assembly is easy and there didn’t seem to be too many consistencies in the complaints about this model.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    73” x 16” x 21”
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    26” x 16” x 49”
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    264 lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    74 lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    Since this machine uses magnetic resistance, it will be quieter than other options.
  • Where to buy this budget collapsible rowing machine?
    You can find the Merax budget magnetic exercise rower for purchasing on Amazon site with A-Z grantee.

Pros:

  • 8 Different levels of resistance
  • Highly adjustable footplates and seat
  • Magnetic resistance is quieter than other kinds

Cons:

  • Outdated LCD monitor

9. MaxKare Reasonably-Priced Air Rowing Machine

maxkare budget air rower

While many air rowers under $500 use an automatic resistance adjustment, the MaxKare Rowing Machine Air Rower has a tension belt that can be adjusted with a dial to give the user even more control over their workout.

They even include a replacement belt for those who exercise intensely or often. The steel frame The LCD display is a simple one, but the MaxKare Rowing Machine Air Rower does have a stand for devices like the JOROTO Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine.

So, you can easily use an app or watch something entertaining. Although, you will have to deal with the sound of the air machine which is similar to a floor fan.

The frame is in a triangle design, which many find to be more comfortable than some of the lower rowing machine frames. The MaxKare Rowing Machine Air Rower also folds up for storage and can easily be moved in and out of tight places on its wheels.

This low-price foldable rowing machine also has a shorter rail, so it may not be the best options for those who are taller than around 5’ 10”.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the size of this machine when ready to use?
    75.6” x 20” x 14.4”
  • What is the size of this machine when folded or upright for storage?
    42.5” x 20” x 54.7”
  • What is the maximum weight this machine can hold?
    220 lbs
  • How heavy is this machine?
    50.7 lbs
  • Is this machine quiet while operating?
    It’s an air resistance machine, so it will sound like a floor fan while in use.
  • Where can I buy this top-rated cheap indoor rowing machine?
    The MaxKare budget Rowing Machine Air Rower can be purchased from the manufacturer on Maxkare or you can buy it on Amazon site.

Pros:

  • Electronic device stand
  • Tension belt for resistance control
  • Folds up for easy storage

Cons:

  • Not good for taller people
  • Air resistance causes a louder workout
  • Outdated LCD monitor

Conclusion!

When looking for the top low-budget rowing machines, you should consider what type of resistance you’re looking for, as each one has different benefits. There are at least four types of resistance used in rowing machines, air, water, hydraulic, and magnetic. If you live somewhere where a noisy machine could be problematic, magnetic and water are usually the quieter of the four.

Also, many people enjoy the sound of the water rowing machines as it increases the sensation of real rowing. Another consideration is the ability to change the levels of resistance offered. Some top-rated affordable rowing machines are easy to increase how much resistance they give with a simple turn of a dial and others, like some water rowing machines under $1000 that require adding or syphoning water from the tank, need a more in-depth adjustment.

It’s good to do your research but if you don’t have time to learn what aspects to look at when purchasing your first budget compact rowing machine, it’s totally fine. Because we have done weeks of extensive research to pick and do the best budget indoor rower reviews for you.

XTERRA Fitness ERG700 low-cost Home Rower
9.7
Circuit Fitness low-budget Water Rowing Machine
9.6
JOROTO Affordable Magnetic Rowing Machine
9.5
MARNUR Reasonably Priced Water Rowing Machine
9.6
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Cheap Rower
9.4
Stamina ATS Home Use Low-Cost Air Rower
9.3
MaxKare Low-Price Water Rowing Machine
9.4
Merax Indoor Budget Magnetic Exercise Rower
9.3
MaxKare Reasonably-Priced Air Rowing Machine
9.3
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)

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