6 Best Budget Rowing Machines in 2021

Best budget rowing machines

When trying to perform low-impact workouts that help you build muscles, strength, and develop overall body fitness, rowing machines are a perfect choice.

But rowing machines, especially those designed for commercial use, can be very expensive.

The fact is; low-budget rowing machines can also get you in tip-top shape, and they’re also incredibly affordable.

The six best budget rowing machines I’ll be reviewing in this article are some of the best on the market today.

They are equipped with the right features and offer quality and comfortable workout every single time.

The best thing is that you don’t have to break the bank to own any of them.

If you have a small workout space, you might want to look at the 7 best compact rowing machines for homes and apartment instead.

Now, let’s take a deep dive into the best budget rowing machines on the market.

If you can’t read to the end, take a look at the comparison table below!

Model

Dimensions

(W× L×H)

Item Weight

Max Weight 

Resistance Mechanism

Resistance Level

Warranty

Price

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639

Best Overall

28” W x 52” L x 11” H

35.8 lb

350 lb

Hydraulic

12

3 years

Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine

36” W x 50” L x 20” H

34 lb

250 lb

Hydraulic

12

90 Days

MARNUR Full Motion Rowing Machine Indoor Hydraulic Rowing Machine

48'' L x 17.5''W x 9.6''H 

39 lb

286 lb

Hydraulic

12

1 year

MaxKare Hydraulic Rowing Machine

53''L x 40''W x 20''H

37 lb

300 lb

Hydraulic

12

1 Year


ADVENOR Magnetic Rowing Machine Foldable Rower

Best For Beginners

73''L x 19''Wx 25''H

55 lb

265 lb

Magnetic

8

1 Year

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Rower

Best Budget

54''L x 23''W x 20''H

21 lb

220 lb

Hydraulic

12

Frame: 3 years

Parts: 180 Days

If you want the best overall, are on a budget, or just beginning, here are the best choices!

Best Budget Rowing Machines Best Picks

Best overall

Best Budget Rowing Machines

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rower

Overall Rating: 4.4/5

the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639  is made of high-grade steel, enabling it to support users that weigh as high as 350 lb. The seats and handles are well-made and designed for comfort. It comes with 12 levels of resistance and has a limited warranty of 3 years. It is very easy to assemble. 

Pros

  • 12 levels of resistance. 38.0″ of seat travel length. Comfortable seat.

Cons

  • Basic monitor.

Best BUDGET

BEST BUDGET ROWING MACHINES

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

Overall Rating: 4.4/5

It is made of high-quality steel that makes the machine very sturdy. It support users that weigh up to 220 lb. The seats are comfortable, thanks to the padding. It comes with 12 levels of resistance which you can adjust with a knob. It is one of the cheapest rowing machines.     

Pros

  • Sturdy. Compact. Lightweight. Affordable12 levels of resistance.

Cons

  • Seat wobbles.

FOR BEGINNERS

Best budget rowing machines

ADVENOR Magnetic Rowing Machine

Overall Rating: 4.3/5

The ADVENOR rowing machine is made of solid heavy-duty steel frame that supports users who weigh 265 lb. Its folding design lets you fold it into half its size. It comes with front-mounted wheels that simplify moving from one place to the other. The  seat is fully padded for maximum comfort.

Pros

  • Affordable. Sturdy and well-built. Supports 265 lb of user weight. Cushioned seat.

Cons

  • Weak resistance.

Best Budget Rowing Machines 2021

Best Budget Rowing Machines

With its many features, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 is one of the best budget rowing machines on the market. It is a perfect mix of comfort, functionality, and affordability.

One of the excellent aspects of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 is the quality of the steel construction.

It is made of high-grade steel, enabling it to support users that weigh as high as 350 lb. For a low-budget rowing machine, this is very impressive.

The seats and handles are well-made and designed for comfort. The seats are wide and are well padded and cushioned, making it possible to work out for long with minimal stress. 

Another feature users like in this rower is its hydraulic resistance compared to some rowing machines that use air or water resistance.

One benefit of hydraulic resistance is that it is noiseless, so users can watch TV while working out.

It comes with a 12 levels of resistance connected to the free motion arms of the machine.

Although they may be uncomfortable for short people, the arms are an excellent addition as it makes you feel like you’re rowing on water.

To increase or decrease resistance, you simply need to turn the dial and you’re off to an intense workout.

While rowing, you can see your workout data, thanks to the LCD digital monitor that tracks count, time, total strokes, and calories burned.

Yes, the monitor is very basic, but that’s not surprising as the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 is a budget rowing machine.

Although the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 is not foldable, it has a pretty small size, so you can place and store it in a small space.

It comes with a limited warranty of 3 years, which is pretty impressive for a low-budget rowing machine.

Assembling this machine can be a bit challenging if you have no DIY skills. The fact that it does not come with all the assembly tools also makes it a bit tough to assemble.

Pros

  • 12 levels of adjustable resistance.
  • Very low cost.
  • 350 lb. weight capacity.
  • 38.0″ of seat travel length.
  • Heavy-duty steel frame.
  • Comfortable seats. 
  • Compact. 

Cons

  • Basic monitor. 

Takeaway

A lot of low-budget rowing machines are made of inferior materials. Not the SF-RW5639. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 is well made and can take anything you throw at it.  If you want a high-weight capacity rowing machine that won’t break down any time soon, this is it.

Best Budget Rowing Machines

Another hydraulic machine that made this best budget rowing machines list is the Lanos Hydraulic Rowing Machine.

This machine is made of durable steel parts that ensure it will last for years to come. The quality of the construction makes it easy for this rowing machine to withstand a maximum user weight of 250 lb. Its robust frame ensures it is suitable for tall users.

The unique design of Lanos Hydraulic Machine lets you every muscle group in your body.

With 12 levels of resistance, users are in for an intense workout. The control knob enables you to choose the level of intensity you want to work out.

For comfort, the seat enables you to glide with each stroke. Footplates, one on each side of the frame, comes with straps to keep your feet secure while working out.

While the seats are padded, the padding isn’t as thick and doesn’t offer much comfort compared to rowing machines on this list.

The user console is also basic and displays workout data such as time elapsed, count, and calories burned.

This unit weighs only 34 pounds, which is pretty light and makes it easy to transport for storage. The foldable arms are also great for easy storage if you have limited storage space.

Pros

  • 250 lb weight capacity.
  • Compact.
  • 12 Resistance Levels.
  • Cost-efficient.
  • Foldable arms.

Cons

  • Piston can overheat.

Takeaway

This machine comes with a very sturdy steel construction and a unique design that lets you develop various muscle groups in your whole body. It might not have the sleekest design of the lot. But one thing I’m sure of is that it does what it says it does.

Best Budget Rowing Machines

The MARNUR Full Motion Rowing Machine is another rower I can’t help but add to the best budget rowing machines list.

Like other rowers in this list, the MARNUR rowing machine comes with a heavy-duty steel frame, a feature you won’t find usually find in low-budget gym equipment.

The frame is designed to support users that weigh as high as 286 lb.

While this is far lower compared to Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639, it’s still very high, making it very suitable for users on the heavy side. If you’re between 4’2’’ and 6’4’’, the rowing machine is for you.

For comfort, the seats are large and wide and offer a comfortable workout. With a slide length of 38 inches, you can push your legs back for various exercises that require such.

Using this machine feels like you’re rowing on water, and unlike some rowing machines, the arms can rotate in all directions, enabling you to work out different muscle groups in your body.

However, some users have reported that the handlebars are a bit long for short people. Otherwise, users have a similar experience to rowing in water on a boat.

You can achieve a high intensity with this rowing machine as it comes with 12 levels of hydraulic resistance. There’s a knob you can use to adjust the resistance according to the intensity you want.

The MARNUR Full Motion Rowing Machine also has a multi-functional LCD Display that shows you your workout data in real-time.

You’ll be able to track calories burnt, time, RPM, and total count. It also has a phone holder so you can watch movies or workout movies while working out.

On either side of the display are non-slip foot pedals with adjustable straps that keep your feet in place, helping you maintain balance and stability.

While this machine doesn’t come assembled, users have said that setting it up is very easy as it comes with installation instruction and tools. It will take you between 20 minutes and 1 hour, depending on your DIY skills.

The MARNUR rowing machine is backed by a 1-year warranty, which is excellent for a rower this affordable.  

Pros

  • Easy to assemble.
  • 286 lb weight capacity.
  • Very affordable. 
  • Comes with a phone holder. 
  • 12 levels of hydraulic resistance.
  • Heavy-duty steel frame. 

Cons

  • Might be uncomfortable for tall users. 

Takeaway

With its high weight capacity, this rowing machine is suitable for different users. The MARNUR Full Motion Rowing Machine also offers 360 degrees arm movement, giving you a real-life rowing experience. Very recommended.

Best budget rowing machines

Made of quality, sturdy, and durable material, the Maxkare Hydraulic Rowing Machine comes with a very good build.

The sturdiness of the steel construction is excellent and gives you value for the price. This rower supports users that weigh 300 lb.

The Maxkare Hydraulic Rowing Machine also has full motion arms that offer you a similar experience as rowing in water on a boat.

While some MaxKare rower uses magnetic resistance, this particular one comes with hydraulic resistance, which gives you a challenging workout.

The resistance of this machine can be adjusted between levels 1 and 12, so you can choose your exercise intensity.

Working out doesn’t have to be an experience to endure, and this machine ensures that. Its seat is padded with high-density foam that makes you comfortable all through your workout.

The smooth, quiet movement of the seat along the rowing beam also ensures that working out is noiseless and won’t disturb others.

While the seat rail isn’t foldable, the rowing arms are, so you can easily fold the machine after working out.

The machine can also be stored in a standing position and ideal if you have little storage space. Moving it around is possible as it only weighs 40 lb.

Like other best budget rowing machines, the LCD monitor that comes with this machine is basic.

That isn’t a big deal as it does the most important thing – tracking time, stroke, total counts, and calories burned. However, some users reported that the display does not work.

Assembling the Maxkare Hydraulic Rowing Machine is a breeze.

Most users who reviewed it say they aren’t mechanically inclined and put it together in less than 30 minutes. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions and tools, so you should set it up pretty quickly.

This product is backed by a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • 300 lb max weight capacity.
  • Full motion arm.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Comfortable seat.
  • Foldable arms for easy storage.
  • Sturdy construction.

Cons

  • Users have complained about the display.

Takeaway

The MaxKare rowing machine is an excellent rower with a high weight capacity. If you’re not looking for bells and whistles and want a machine that’s easy on the pocketbook, this machine fits the bill.

Best budget rowing machines

The ADVENOR rowing machine is a dependable rower that can withstand everyday use. It is made of solid heavy-duty steel frame that supports users who weigh 265 lb and lower.

The horizontal and vertical frame of the machine ends in stabilizers that add solidity to the machine, keeping it from wobbling during workouts.

The ADVENOR Magnetic rowing isn’t the most compact out there. But its folding design lets you fold it into half its size, so storing it won’t pose a problem.

If you have to move the machine away for storage after use, then you’ll find the ADVENOR very convenient. It comes with front-mounted wheels that simplify moving from one place to the other.  

The heart-shaped seat is large and ergonomic. It’s fully padded with a polyfoam for maximum comfort and increasing the possibility of working out for long.

Since we’re talking about comfort, let me add that the handlebars are slip-resistant and have soft padded foams for a tight and comfortable grip, preventing blisters.

As you might have observed from the name, the ADVENOR Magnetic Rowing Machine uses magnetic resistance.

A nylon belt is attached to the drive rather than a chain, giving you noiseless strokes every single time. The resistance is manually adjustable up to 8 levels resistance by turning the tension knob.

The foot pedals are large and can accommodate users of different foot sizes. They are made of durable plastic and have an anti-slip design that keeps your feet in place. The strap also fastens your foot to the pedal, keeping them firmly in place throughout.

As expected, the display console is pretty basic. The monitor is non-backlit and displays time used, total count, calories burnt, and stroke.

The information isn’t displayed at once because of the size of the screen, so the SCAN function shows the metrics one after the other.

The console also features a tablet holder to place your device for watching movies and taking calls while working out.

Assembling this unit is also very easy as the drive and resistance system are already installed.

The package comes with an instruction manual to guide you through and installation tools to help you set it up.

Depending on your DIY, it should take you between 30 minutes and 1 hour to put the various parts together.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Sturdy and well built.
  • Supports 265 lb weight. 
  • Quiet operation.
  • Cushioned seat. 
  • Transport wheels
  • Easy to assemble. 

Cons

  • Some users report that resistance is weak.

Takeaway

Like other best budget rowing machines on this list, the ADVENOR Magnetic Rowing Machine is a no-frills rower that won’t win any award for attractive features. But it is solid and provides a challenging workout.

BEST BUDGET ROWING MACHINES

Sunny Health & Fitness is one of the leading equipment makers with an excellent record, so it isn’t surprising that the SF-RW1205 is very well made.

It is made of high-quality steel that makes the machine very sturdy. The machine can support users that weigh as much as 220 lb.

While this isn’t the highest on the list, the weight capacity is pretty decent for a rower this affordable.

Also, some users say they weigh 290 lb and used this rower comfortably. I’d advise you to stick to the 220 lb limit and go for one with a higher capacity if you are on the heavy side.

Users who are 6’2’’ tall say they use this machine comfortably, so if you’re tall, you don’t have to worry.

Rubber stabilizers on the bottom of the frame also help make sure the machine doesn’t wobble during workouts.

The seats are comfortable, thanks to the padding. The handles are also padded and give you a tight and comfortable grip that makes sure you don’t have blisters no matter the duration of your workout.

The SF-RW1205 features large seats that enable users to place their feet comfortably. The adjustable Velcro straps keep the feet in place while you’re rowing.

While some users say the seat can be wobbly, sitting on the lower, flat section can reduce the wobbling considerably.

As for resistance, the mechanism is hydraulic. It comes with 12 levels of resistance which you can adjust with a knob.

Users say the tension it provides is great and makes rowing more comfortable. Another plus of this machine is that its seat is inclined and provides a bit of resistance.

However, some users have commented that after rowing for more than 15 minutes, the piston gets hot, reducing resistance.

The manufacturer mentioned this, who recommends rowing for 15 minutes and resting for 5 minutes. One way to bypass this issue and continue working out is to turn the knob to a higher level.

The LCD monitor is simple and displays time, count, total count, calories burned, and Scans.

As I said, you shouldn’t expect a great display for budget rowing machines. So the display is fine. However, some users have complained that it doesn’t display accurate workout metrics.

Although it isn’t foldable, storing this machine isn’t a problem as it’s very compact. It can also be stored in a vertical position.

Weighing about 20 lb, it’s also very lightweight, making it easy for you to move to the storage area after usage.

This machine doesn’t have a lot of parts, so assembling it is pretty easy. It comes almost pre-assembled, and all you have to do is use the three provided bolts to attach the cylinder and the handle, and that’s it.

It’s so easy to assemble you may not need the instruction manual. Users who are not mechanically inclined set this machine up in about 15 minutes.

Pros

  • Sturdy. 
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Affordable. 
  • Comes with 12 levels of resistance. 
  • Easy installation.

Cons

  • You’ll have to rest the machine for 5 minutes after using for 15 minutes.

Takeaway

Sturdy. Affordable. Low impact. Convenient. Easy to install. Very portable. It has everything you’d expect in a budget rowing machine. If you aren’t an athlete and simply want to get in shape, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 will do the job.

Final Thoughts 

Those are the best budget rowing machines available on the market!

While they won't win award for attractive features, all six rowers are affordable, sturdy, have excellent warranty, and use hydraulic resistance - the perfect no-frills rowing machines. 

If you're just starting out, I recommend the ADVENOR Magnetic Rowing Machine. It's comfortable and very easy to use. 

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine Rower is the perfect option if you're on a budget.

The best overall is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine. It has  weight capacity of 300 lb, comes with a full-motion rowing arms, is well-built, and has an excellent warranty. 

Have anything to say about the best budget rowing machines? Let me know in the comments section below. 

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naem

Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical science and extensive experience working in the health and dietary supplement industries

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