Best 11 Affordable Rowing Machines That Won’t Break the Bank

Updated January 11, 2019

A rowing machine is an essential piece of home gym cardio equipment. It will fast track weight loss, build stamina and build muscle. But rowers can be expensive. Often cheap rowers are very low quality. Fortunately, we’ve gone in deep to bring you the 11 best value rowing machines that will deliver a great workout without breaking the bank.

A Quick Overview of the 11 Best Affordable Rowing Machines

Our favorite affordable rowing machine is the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5612. This dual function machine works as a rower and an upper body resistance machine. It offers 8 levels of smooth, adjustable resistance and extra comfortable settings. We were also very impressed with the Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine, which provides an excellent air resistance workout at a great price.

The cheapest quality rower of all is the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 hydraulic position driven machine, which gives you a smooth action, free seat glide and comfortable seat, all for under $100.

​To make it easy for you to compare the best priced rowing machines, we’ve rated the Top 11 in terms of price and durability, and then given them an overall quality rating. In the following section, we’ll provide in-depth reviews of our Top 11 affordable rowers.

Please read our in depth review about Xebex Rower.

The Top 11 Rowing Machines Review

#1. First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower

The First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine is a water rower that comes in at a great price. It provides you with an extremely realistic rowing motion that perfectly simulates the experience that you get on the water.
The tank of this water rower is made of tough polycarbonate shell with a triple-bladed stainless steel paddle. It comes with a variable water volume of between 9 and 17 liters. The high spec LCD timer provides you with time, distance, 500 meter split, strokes per minute, calories per hour, watts, interval training and optional heart rate reception.

The First Degree Water Rower provides you with ergonomic handles, a durable belt drive and is extremely quiet for a water rower.

PROS

  • Mooth water / air rowing action
  • 3 hydro blades
  • Molded padded seat
  • High spec monitor

CONS

  • Not foldable

#2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639

Machine Rower Review

The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5639 is a quality compact hydraulic rower. It is a dual function affordable machine that will give you a great rowing workout as well as doubling as a resistance training machine for the muscles of your upper body. You get a hydraulic tension system with 12 levels of adjustable resistance. The movement of the cable is very smooth, allowing for a jerk free motion.

This Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5639 has a seat is extra wide and thickly padded for comfort. The footplates are dual function, providing an ideal rowing platform and then adjusting to hold you secure while performing resistance movements.

PROS

  • Compact
  • Great price
  • 12 levels of adjustable resistance

CONS

  • Rail doesn’t completely fold for storage

#3. Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine

Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine

The Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine is a compact, lightweight, affordable rower that comes with a durable aluminum beam that is rust free and comes with a front stabilizer with wheels for easy transport and storage. This unit will fit into the smallest of spaces with storage dimensions of 28 inches in length, 20 inches in width and 63 inches in height.

The Harvil magnetic rower provides you with eight levels of magnetic tension resistance. The tension level can be set from one, being the lowest, to eight being the highest. It comes with an easy to read LCD monitor that provides you with an ongoing readout of your training time, row count, distance and calories.

The maximum weight capacity of the Harvil magnetic rower is 264 pounds.

PROS

  • Large, easy to read monitor
  • Large, padded upholstered seat
  • Smooth wind resistance

CONS

  • Band resistance doesn’t kick in during first third of the movement

#4. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Machine

Glider Machine Review

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is a hydraulic piston controlled compact rower that provides you with two piece arms to provide a full range of rowing motion. The adjustable hydraulic resistance allows for a smooth rowing stroke, while the textured footplate with secure straps allow you to securely lock your lower body in place while exercising. 

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 has a sturdy steel frame. It also has a molded seat for comfort, and ball bearing rollers for smooth seat gliding. The multi function monitor gives you instant feedback on your workout. Foam padded hand grips provide extra comfort while rowing.

PROS

  • Very realistic rowing experience
  • Two piece rowing arms
  • Max user weight 250 pounds

CONS

  • Noisy

#5. Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine

Water Rowing Machine

The Sunny Health and Fitness rowing machine is the best cheap rowing machine that we reviewed. It is the best machine that you’ll find for under $100. This hydraulic piston driven rower gives you 12 levels of adjustable resistance. The rowing motion is relatively smooth and jerk free. The seat glides smoothly and is comfortable to sit on. The foot plates pivot to position your legs better and add comfort.

A simple electronic monitor displays all of the workout data that you need to know. The unit is solid and compact and folds easily for storage. It is a reliable rower that will give you a decent workout at an unbeatable price.

PROS

  • Cheapest value machine on the market
  • 12 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Foot plates pivot

CONS

  • Piston pin rubs on frame

#6. GoPlus Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine

Folding Rowing Machine

The GoPlus Magnetic Folding rowing machine provides ten levels of magnetic resistance with n elastic cord. While not as smooth as an air or flywheel based system, this rower does provide you with a full extension on each row and a relatively smooth rowing action. The sturdy beam on this unit is made from aluminum, providing a solid base to work from. Large, anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable straps give you a secure footing while you are exercising. Non-slip grip handles also ensure that you get a secure hold and the ergonomically designed seat has extra padding for comfort.

You get a functional monitor on this rower, with a large LCD screen that gives you readouts of your total calories, count per minute, count, scan and time. This is a simple, functional rower that gives you a smooth, fluid workout every time. It has built-in wheels for ease of transportation and folds for convenient storage. The maximum user weight on this machine is 220 pounds. 

PROS

  • 10 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Smooth rowing action
  • Large, anti-slip foot pedals
  • Large LCD screen

CONS

  • Max weight limited to 220 pounds

#7. Sunny SF RW5515

Magnetic Rowing Machine

The Sunny SF RW5515 is a magnetic tension budget rower that provides you with eight levels of magnetic resistance. The centrally located tension knob allows you to transition between resistance levels fluidly without any of the jerkiness that you often get with magnetic rowers within this price range. The cushioned seat on this model is ergonomically designed to enhance your exercising comfort, while the large sturdy pedals provide you with a non slip surface and sturdy velcro straps to keep you securely in place when you are rowing.

The RW5515 is solidly constructed to provide a durable rowing experience. It will not shake, regardless of how intensely you work out on it. The maximum user weight on the machine is 250 pounds. Tracking your progress is easy with the digital monitor screen which shows your speed ,count and time, along with a scan mode. The dimensions of this rower is 82 inches long by 19 inches high by 18 inches wide, making it impressively compact and able to be used in the most compact of workout areas. 

PROS

  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Smooth rowing action
  • Ergonomically designed cushioned seat
  • Compact design

CONS

  • Max user weight limited to 250 pounds

Rowing machines do a whole lot more than improve your cardiovascular endurance. The following clip provides 10 reasons why you need to make rowing a regular part of your training routine . . .

You want a rowing machine but you have limited space available. Check out our article on 9 Compact and Portable Rowing Machines for Small Spaces to find the ideal machine for your small space.

#8. Merax Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine

Folding Rowing Machine

The Merax Magnetic Folding Rowing Machine is a compact, smooth rower that provides you with 8 levels of magnetic resistance. The 15-degree angled seat rail provides you with the ideal positioning to provide maximum comfort and allow for a smooth and efficient return. The built-in magnetic flywheel minimizes noise while maximizing a smooth feel during the rowing motion. A convenient tension knob allows you to easily and quickly adjust the intensity of your workout. 

The sliding, extra padded seat on the Merax Magnetic Folding Rower provide comfort during those long training sessions. Large strapping footplates keep you securely locked n place. This machine has a built-in folding frame and transportation wheels. Floor protectors keep the machine from sliding round while also protecting your floor from damage. The maximum weight capacity of this rower is 264 pounds.

The simple LCD monitor on the Merax Magnetic rower displays your time, count,calories and total count, presented on a simple, easy to use screen. The foldable nature of this machine makes it an ideal choice for those with limited room to exercise.

PROS

  • Smooth operation
  • 15-degree seat angle
  • Extra padded seat
  • Ax weight 264 pounds

CONS

  • Not overly durable

Please read our in depth review about Xebex Rower.

The most popular rowing machines on the planet are in the Concept 2 range. Find out if Concept 2 deserves its reputation as the best with our Concept 2 Rowing Machines 2019 - it’s an eye opener!

For a full overview of the best rowers on the home fitness market, regardless of price, check out our Best Rowing Machines Review 2019 - you are bound to find what you need!

#9. Xterra Fitness ERG200 Rower

Affordable Rower

The Xterra Fitness ERG200 Rower provides a drum magnetic control resistance to give you a smoother, more natural rowing experience. It also features electronic tension to maintain the ideal strap tension at all times. There are 8 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance. The dual extruded aluminium slide rails are mounted to the steel frame to provide an impressively smooth and stable motion.

The monitor on the Xterra Fitness ERG200 Rower features a large LCD screen. It provides a rolling readout of time, count, stroke/minutes, distance, calories, watts and pulse. The saddle is made from molded polyurethane to give and ergonomic feel that is also comfortable. It also has a space saving, foldable design.

PROS

  • Drum magnetic roll resistance
  • Electronic tension
  • Smooth seat glide

CONS

  • Frame may start to wear after several months

#10. Sunny Incline Magnetic rower

Sunny Incline Magnetic rower

The Sunny Incline Magnetic rower has a unique incline rail feature which inclines your body as you row. This provides an increased challenge and puts more workout stress on the abs and thighs. There are 5 levels of incline to suit people of all ages and fitness levels. This is a lightweight. Compact unit but it still allows for a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, which attests to its sturdy design. Unlike most magnetic rowers, this machine provides you with full motion arms in order to simulate an authentic rowing motion. When you’re done you can fold it away for easy storage.

The digital monitor screen on the Sunny Incline Magnetic rower provides you with a comprehensive accounting of all of your key training statistics. Non slip for pads with velcro nylon straps ensure that you are firmly locked into place while foot levellers at the bottom of the unit ensure that the machine is evenly placed regardless of what surface it is sitting on. This is a very impressive little rower rower at a great price.

PROS

  • Incline feature
  • Compact
  • 300 pound max user weight
  • ​Foldable

CONS

  • Slides on the floor

#11. EFITMENT Total Motion Rowing Machine

Rowing Machine Review

The Efitment Total Motion Rowing Machine is a hydraulic piston controlled rowing machine that provides full arm extension. The heavy duty steel frame construction provides you with an impressive max user weight of 350 pounds. A large padded seat glides freely up and down the 38 inch glide rail. The comfortable, slip resistant handles enhances your user experience. 

The Efitment Total Motion Rowing Machine provides you with 12 levels of hydraulic resistance. Large anti slip foot pedals conform to your foot and ensure a secure hold. The digital monitor included a tablet bracket and tracks your calories, time, count, total count and RPM.

PROS

  • Full arm extension
  • Max weight 350 pounds
  • Tablet holder

CONS

  • Hydraulic cylinder get hot

Water rowing is the most realistic, soothing way to row. Check out the best waterrowers on the planet with our Waterrower Machines Review 2019 - you’ll be glad you did!

Conclusion

The best value rowing machine that we found in our review is the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5612, a dual function rower and upper body trainer. This affordable magnetic rower provides a very natural action and is very solid and compact. Our second best value machine is the Harvil Magnetic Rowing Machine, which offers high end air rower specs at a budget price.

The best good cheap rowing machine that we reviewed was the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Machine, a hydraulic tension machine that provides a quality workout at an unbeatable price.

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine


Our #1. Recommendation

First Degree Fitness Newport AR Rower Water Rower Exercise Machine

jim roose

My name is Jim Roose. I'm a former competitive power lifter and gym owner. I've bought millions of dollars of fitness equipment over the last 20 years. This site is my way of giving back to the fitness community that's done so much for me. Every article on here is carefully researched and written by me. Leave a comment if you have any questions.