The 8 Best Rowing Machines Under $300 in 2023
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- Reviewed and Compared By BEMH Indoor Rowing Team • Updated: January 2023
Whatever your reason for wanting a home rowing machine, buying can be a bit of a minefield even for the more experienced rower or multiple purchaser. Finding a budget rowing exercise machine for under $300 is even harder. So, for the beginner, it is hard to even know where to start.
Start right here! We have found eight home rowing machines under 300 for you to consider and we reviewed and compare them here. We begin by getting you thinking about three of the main things we all need to consider and what your individual needs are for a home rowing machine.
We then look at the home rowers under $300, so that you have all the information you need in one place. There is a comparison table included and a helpful buyer’s guide to buying a rowing exercise machine under $300. Then we offer a brief question and answer section and our conclusions. So let’s dive in and look at eight of the best sub $300 inexpensive rowing machines in no particular order: All dimensions given are L = Length W = Weight H = Height.
Best Rowing Machines Under 300 Comparison Table
|Joroto MR35 Magnetic Rowing Machine||No-backlit, time, stroke count, calories||250 Lbs||No, this rower doesn't fold up||10-Level magnetic resistance|
|Conat Water Resistance Indoor Rower||No-backlit, time, stroke count, calories||280 Lbs||No, this rower doesn't fold up||Dynamic water resistance|
|Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine||No-backlit, watt, time, 500m, SPM, Calories, & Pulse||250 Lbs||Yes, this home rower folds up||8-Level magnetic resistance|
|Dripex Magnetic Folding Exercise Rower||No-backlit, time, count, calories, total count, scan||243 Lbs||Yes, this indoor rower folds away||16-Level magnetic resistance|
|Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rower||No-backlit, Bluetooth, time, stroke count, calories||250 Lbs||Yes, this indoor rower folds away||14-Level magnetic resistance|
|Vichiny Dual Belt Air Resistance Rower||No-backlit, time, stroke count, calories||264 Lbs||Yes, this indoor rower folds away||Dynamic air resistance|
|Merax Beautify Magnetic Rowing Machine||No-backlit, time, stroke count, calories||260 Lbs||Yes, this indoor rower folds away||8-Level magnetic resistance|
|Sunny SF-RW5606 Elastic Cord Home Rower||No-backlit, time, stroke count, calories||220 Lbs||Yes, this indoor rower folds away||4-Level elastic cord resistance|
Editor’s Choice Under 300!
My colleagues have already picked the budget rowing machines under 300 that can provide effective rowing machine workout. Their detailed review and comparison chart can be found in this article.
However, because new good value affordable rowing machines under $300 become available on a daily basis, I created the Editor’s Choice. It’s where I regularly update and search the market to pick the best home rowing machine under $300.
And if you are wondering what is the best rowing machine for home use under 300 for this month, it is the SereneLife air-mag rower. This indoor rower has a large monitor, ergonomic design, and durable structure. Additionally, it has 10 levels of magnetic resistance plus dynamic air resistance making it one of the best air-magnetic rowers.
Quick Overview of Best Indoor Rowers Under $300:
- Joroto MR35 Magnetic Rowing Machine
- CONATE Water Resistance Indoor Rower
- Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Dripex Magnetic Folding Exercise Rower
- Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rower
- Vichicy Dual Belt Air Resistance Rower
- Merax Beauty Magnetic Rowing Machine
- Sunny SF-RW5606 Elastic Cord Rowing Machine
1. Joroto MR35 Magnetic Rowing Machine
With Joroto M35 Rower there are 10 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance designed to work for beginner to expert level. The digital monitor can be adjusted to be viewed by people of different heights and is easy to adjust. It tracks the time, gives count, a total count, and has calories used data as well.
The seat is ergonomic and wide to facilitate a comfortable rowing experience and reduces strain on the users back. The handlebars are also soft with comfort in mind. The footplates are adjustable to suit different foot sizes and then lock into position. The mainly aluminium construction ensures that not only is the rowing machine lightweight but because of the way it uses no-touch magnetic resistance making it very quiet and smooth to use.
The pull cord is high tensile nylon and the flywheel is aluminium. The rowing machine also features a mobile phone/tablet holder and a cup holder. A major advantage of this rowing machine if space is a premium is that it folds to just 0.15 square meters of space for storage. The dual casters also mean that it can be moved easily and it also has floor protectors built in.
Weighs 53lbs with a flywheel weight of 4.4 lbs. The maximum user weight is 250lbs. The resistance system is magnetic with 10 levels. Dimensions: When in Use: 71 L x 21 W x 36 H When stored: 22L x 21 W x 71H. The Joroto Magnetic Rowing Machine with LCD Display comes with a twelve-month free part replacement warranty.
A major advantage is that the Joroto Magnetic is lightweight and easily folds down for storage.
The wide padded seat is a great comfort feature that also helps the back and this inexpensive rowing machine has a twelve month parts replacement warranty.
Inseam at 39” is short for those with longer legs.
2. CONATE Water Resistance Indoor Rower
The CONATE Water Rowing Machine is designed for those who require a realistic rowing experience. The padded handles are designed for a wider range of motion to maximise the upper-body workout and the adjustable footplates adjust to five fixed settings for ultimate user comfort and the foot straps ensure foot security.
The seat is wide, shaped and cushioned. Additional comfort features are the ergonomic design and it has a cup holder. Resistance is set by filling a water tank to the desired work out level. The tank is easy to fill and use. The stabilizers are adjustable to ensure that the machine is level for use for maximum usability advantage.
The large sized LCD monitor is highly adjustable and tracks time, stroke per minute, distance, strokes and calories used as well as a Man-machine competitive mode. The CONATE Water Rowing Machine has pulleys to aid with moving the rowing machine around; however it does not fold for storage, although there is a support point for upright storage and a note to store where it cannot fall on children. There are transport wheels for moving it around.
Water tension system, 264 max weight, steel slide rail, not foldable, inseam length 44” shipping weight 86lbs. The warranty is good with a thirty-day refund or replacement due to any defects or damage caused in transit. Plus a two-year free manufacturer’s warranty.
Easy to fill tank and adjustable stabilizers are big pros of this rowing exercise machine.
It also has a wide padded seat and the LCD is larger than some others in this price range.
The fixed footplates are adjustable.
Does not fold for storage.
3. Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
5 used from $189.46
Eight levels of adjustable tension are provided by adjustable magnetic resistance that is changed by utilizing an easy knob twist adjustment. The non-slip footplates are textured for more grip and added safety during demanding workouts and there are foot straps for added security.
For comfort there are non-slip foam grip handlebars, and a cushioned seat. The slide rail is 48 inches slide rail length and 44 inches inseam length providing ample room for those with longer legs. Assembly is easy and the machine is smooth and easy to use.
The digital monitor displays time, count, total count, and calories but not distance. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine has built-in wheels for portability, offering a simple tilt and roll system. The indoor rowing machine packs up quite small when not in use.
The maximum user weight is 250lbs. The tension is provided by the eight-level magnetic system. The assembled dimensions are: 82L x 19W x 23 H Folded Dimensions: 37L x 19W x 53.5H. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 weighs just 59lbs.
Easy move system and folds quite small for easy storage.
The monitor display is quite small making it hard to read for some people.
4. Dripex Magnetic Folding Exercise Rower
The Dripex magnetic folding rower features an easy to operate 16 level resistance tension via an easy to use dial. The digital monitor gives time, count, calories, repetitions per minute and total count.
The steel slide rail is extra-long being 49” with a 45” inseam length making it suitable for people up to 6’2”.
Comfort is provided by a cushioned seat and non-slip foam padded handlebar. The footplates are large, non-slip with high quality straps. Extras include a bottle holder and transport wheels with a pulley grab point for moving it around.
The tension system is magnetic with 16 resistance levels. Maximum weight capacity is 243lbs. The slide rail is steel. The shipping weight is 64lbs. Folded measurements are 37.4L x 19.7W x 42.3H.
Great for tall people due to extra long slide rail.
Folds for easy storage.
Has 16 resistance levels, so there is bound to be a level for everyone.
Low weight capacity.
Basic and no-backlit monitor.
5. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Rower
The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine features Bluetooth connectivity and access to the free MyCloudFitness App for additional workouts that can be done using the rowing exercise machine. The LCD display is large at 3.5” and there is a handy tablet or phone holder.
At this price range this is the only Rowing Exercise Machine with Bluetooth and that is certainly a selling point if you want to track your progress and is especially good if you utilize the other exercises that the machine can facilitate. For rowing exercise the magnetic resistance has 14 settings that are set by a tension dial. Assembling this model is very easy and all the tools are included.
The stabilizer foot pads are designed to ensure stability for a smooth rowing experience and to stabilize for the other exercises that can be done on the machine and are adjustable. There are two wheels on the front for manoeuvring. Comfort is provided by extra wide grip foam handlebar and it is advertised as having a large contoured cushion seat. However, the seat becomes uncomfortable very quickly, meaning that additional cushioning is required for an effective workout. The pull cord is a thick nylon cord which gives a cleaner catch and smooth return.
Designed for users anywhere between the heights of 4’9” and 6’6” and up to 250lbs in weight. Folded size is 5’L x 21.5W x 5’H. In use length is 88” and weight is around 70lbs. The slide rail inseam is 39”. The rowing machine has a one year structural warranty, but only a 90 day home use only warranty.
Easy to assemble and all tools are provided.
The pull cord is high quality.
The seat is hard and soon gets uncomfortable, requiring additional cushioning.
6. Vichicy Dual Belt Air Resistance Rower
This rowing machine features an air tension system that is driven by a twin drive belt system for strong resistance. There is no resistance adjustment, the harder you pull the more resistance you will have. Beginners especially should note that this machine’s resistance starting base is the equivalent of 6-8 on other machines that are adjustable. The rowing pulley is high-quality durable nylon. The digital monitor shows, calories, counts, times, scans and distance.
This is not a quiet indoor rowing exercise machine due to the noise from the fan as it works. The frame is steel and made from a triangular structure that the manufacturer claims provides a guarantee of stability when in use. The footplates are textured and described as “non-skid” and have adjustable nylon foot straps to accommodate all foot sizes. The Vichicy Air Rower is foldable for easy storage and has transport wheels. Comfort features are the ergonomic polyurethane seat, a padded comfortable handlebar and an iPad/tablet holder.
The digital monitor scans count time calories and distance. The one speed style gives serious rowers feedback resistance to the workout. The harder you row, the more resistance you get, giving a realistic water rowing experience. For some this may be a disadvantage, but try one of these and the feel it gives back really increases the experience for those wanting to maximise the advantage of indoor rowing. Other rowing machines below $300 just don’t give that feedback or pull back at you, for serious rowers this one is punching way above its price bracket.
The weight of the rowing machine is 58.5lbs and the maximum weight capacity is 264lbs. The inseam measurement is 50 inches. Size assembled: 71.3L x 20.1W x 14.2H Once folded the size is: 40.5 L x 19.7 W x 42.1 H. This model comes with a 30 day warranty.
Great feedback and workout experience.
Not everyone will like the lack of adjustable tension and the starting resistance may be too much for some beginners.
7. Merax Beauty Folding Magnetic Rowing Machine
Providing micro-adjustable magnetic resistance with eight levels for rowing exercisers of all fitness levels looking for a budget and quiet home rower. This Merax rowing machine works solely on magnetic resistance which creates a near to silent workout. The only downside to its solely magnetic system is that it doesn’t adjust to your effort. It is fixed so no matter your rowing speed and strength the resistance remain the same unless you manually change which is the opposite of how an air rowing machine works.
The slip-resistant handlebars are the comfort along with large anti-slip footplates that have adjustable Velcro fastening foot straps. The claim is a padded seat as well, however, the seat is moulded plastic and not padded at all requiring finding a cushion solution to avoid serious butt bone pain. The footplates are designed to pivot. The digital computer system tracks stroke count, distance, time, calories, and rpm. The foldable design with built in transportation wheels offers easy mobility and storage. The Merax Beauty takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to assemble after its unpacked and it comes with so much packaging, unpacking is a workout in itself.
The model did suffer some quality issues a couple of years ago and it may be that the manufacturer assumed the damage was happening due to rough handling in transit and rectified by increasing the packaging. Seriously, this machine comes way over-packed. This is one of the lightest weight indoor exercise rower that we have shortlisted; however there is an issue that this model sometimes lifts up when the user leans back, the machine actually lifts off the ground. It may be that it would benefit from slightly longer stabilizers or it may be due to the light weight.
The rowing machine weighs 48.5lbs and the user weight capacity is 260lbs.The cushion seat measuring at 11L x 14W x 2H. Size assembled 72L x 20W x 26H inches and dimensions once folded: 31L x 20W x 48.5H. The inseam measurement is 41 inches. Comes with a 1-year Parts and components warranty coverage.
Reassuring long frame warranty.
Longer inseam measurement than some.
Less weight capacity than a few other options in this buying guide and comparison article.
Poor monitor without backlit.
8. Sunny SF-RW5606 Elastic Cord Rowing Machine
6 used from $111.60
The SF-RW5606 Rowing exercise machine has four tension levels that are easy to adjust via a lever that you lift and pull or push from both sides and drop into place at the desired tension. This rowing exercise machine is driven via an elastic cord. For comfort the handles are soft grip and the seat is large and angled for comfort.
The pivot footplates have wide adjustable Velcro straps. The large LCD console displays time, count, total count, calories burned, count per minute, and scan mode to keep up with workout calculations. This is the quickest and easiest to assemble; taking just 15 to 20 minutes.
The SF-RW5606 is the lightest of the selection and seems stable in use, probably thanks to the four independent levelers that adjust to ensure that the rowing exercise machine can be quickly leveled to the individual floor. These are quick and easy to adjust, they ensure that the machine is usable without wobbling or creeping.
The rowing machine weighs just 34.5 pounds and has a maximum user weight of 220lbs. The assembled dimensions are 68L x 14W x 21H. The folded dimensions are 38L x 14W x 43H. The inseam length is 36”. As with all Sunny rowing exercise machines the warranty is 90 days.
Quick to assemble at 15-20 minutes, lightweight and has a good levelling system.
The most basic of the home rowing machine selected.
Practical Tips on How to Find and Buy The Best Rowing Machine Under $300
Features the best rowing machines under $300 may not have all the features of the more expensive models, so think about what you really need for your machine. List your must-have features, would love features, and if possible features to help you choose the right rowing machine within $300 budget.
The footplates on this selection of best rowing machines under $300 vary between fixed and pivot. Some users find that they are put off from a powerful working experience if the footplates move and prefer the fixed option to push against feeling unsafe with a pivoting experience that does not inspire confidence. Whilst the other camp of users prefer the footplates that pivot feeling that allowing the feet to move as they go through the rhythm of catch, drive, finish and recovery suits them better and it is certainly the option that is easier on the ankles and knees. Neither is good or bad, just personal preference, that depend on a whole host of reasons such as fitness, surgery, joint condition and more. That is why we have advised which type of footplates the different models have to help you when making your buying decision for the best budget rowing machine under 300.
The comfort options of the seat, handlebar and footplates are important considerations. Where the seat is less comfortable it easy enough to purchase a cushion, especially if the rowing machine is otherwise the favored option. The handlebar on all of these is fairly similar as far as grip comfort is concerned. The footplates are mentioned above. Other comfort items to consider when buying the best affordable rowing machines (if they are important to you) are a drink holder and phone or tablet holder.
The frame is an important aspect in making your choice for the rowing machines under 300, especially for those with long legs. The frame is a crucial component in the way the rowing machine handles under intense workouts.
The more expensive rowing machines under $1000 will have more expensive consoles, however these budget rowing machines under $300 all have a console of some type, so check the style and functions of the machines you are interested in.
The warranty is worth considering, especially if you find yourself torn between two options! A better warranty is a useful decider and also shows the manufacturer has faith in their product.
The weight that the magnetic, air, or water rowing machine under $500 can take is a consideration many of us will need to be aware of. It needs to be up to the weight and strength of the user.
The assembly and maintenance. Most of these are very quick and easy to assemble and have tool kits provided. The maintenance for these is also generally low and easy. Usually, just checking over bolts now and again, cleaning and checking for any rust and changing monitor batteries
Comfort. Because you are buying the rowing machine for your own use you have the perfect opportunity to ensure that it is as comfortable as possible for you to use. Many home rowing machines under $300 are ergonomically designed, but that does not mean one size fits all, even with the adjustable versions. Comfort is important for an effective workout and to ensure that you are motivated to keep returning to the home rowing machine.
Size. It is important to consider the size of the rowing machine and it is possible to buy indoor rowers even under $300 that pack up quite small when not in use. Work out the space you have for using the rowing machine it’s important to ensure you have plenty of room to glide back and forth without hitting anything such as furniture or the walls. Also, consider where it will be stored if there is not space to leave it assembled. We have included the dimensions here to help you if space is a consideration. Even if you don’t think it is, measure the area you plan to use the rowing exercise machine before ordering to make sure you really do have enough space.
Q: What muscles do a rowing machine workout?
A: Rowing machine exercise gives us the opportunity to works the entire body; it is a method of exercise that works out up to 84% of your muscle mass.
Q: How many calories does a rowing machine burn?
A: Using the rowing machine is estimated to burn 1,000 calories an hour. You could burn more depending on the intensity of your workout and even beginners can burn 600 calories per hour.
Q: Is a rowing machine good for building muscle?
A: Yes, home rowing workout is great for building muscle, and does so without adding bulk. Most of these top rowing machines under $300 that are listed in this review can help you build muscles.
Q: Is a rowing machine good for cardio?
A: Yes, a rowing machine is good for a pretty solid cardiovascular workout. The top ones listed in this rowing machine review for home use under 300 can provide a solid rowing workout for most users.
These are eight very different, but best budget rowing machines under $300, each having features that will appeal to some and turn others away. For that reason, it is difficult to select one machine as the overall best. Even things like the seat, an uncomfortable seat for some can be perfect for someone else. Those seeking a quiet machine will need to ignore the two fan rowing exercise machines (numbers 6 and 7) featured among these rowing machine reviews under 300.
The Bluetooth connectivity and additional exercise options of the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower will make it a preferred option for most people, especially if pivot footplates are preferred. Any of these are viable alternatives, although a lot of us planning on using the rowing machine for longer than about 10 minutes and frequently will seek out a comfortable seat, although neoprene and gel cushions are easy to purchase, so don’t let that be a deal-breaker for you.
For those with limited space, a folding or partially folding rowing exercise machine is preferable if you have somewhere suitable to put it away between uses. However, for heavier users stability is important. For water rowers who cannot always get out on the water and want to keep their rowing fitness levels up then the MaxKare water rowing machine will give the most realistic rowing experience. So, the choice really comes down to your own list of essentials and wishes. What these eight rowing machines for home use under $300 show us is that it is possible to buy an inexpensive rowing machine suitable for your preferences.