Home Rowers: Best Rowing Machine Under $500

Home rowers provide the best workouts to attain multiple health benefits within one exercise machine. If you’re looking for the best rowing machine under $500, we have the top brands from the leading home fitness manufacturers headed for the 2020 market. Our home rower review lists not only what to expect from each product, but why your investment matters and the health benefits you get as a result. So let’s start!


Rowing machines are more popular than ever in 2019 because they’re among the few fitness equipment systems to feature smooth, fluid full body workouts. That means total exercise benefits with a low impact … bonus, at an affordable price. If you’re looking to invest in a home rower then you’ve likely done some homework in terms of the many benefits this type of exercise machine provides. So as we list and review the best home rowers under $500, it’s our hope that you enter in to and leave our website with the most information possible. The home rower product details we provide here will help you to make a confident decision on your important investment.

At Own Your Best, we feel it’s important to nevertheless briefly review all of the health benefits to the products we feature. Whether you want to lose weight, stay in shape, improve your overall health, we’ve covered what you need to know about a home rower investment. But since we know you want to get right to the actual best rowing machine product list, be sure to scroll down to the end of this page. That’s where we discuss how these home gym products provide the optimal health benefits in the convenience of your personal space as well as the practical things to consider when buying a rower.


About Our Best Rowing Machine Under $500 Reviews

If you’ve visited our other home gym equipment reviews and recommendations, including the best budget home gyms under $300, the best home gyms under $500 and under $1000, as well as our reviews on the best elliptical under $500 and under $1000 on the market, you will see that we don’t rank by that ever-so familiar 1 – 5 yellow stars. With all of the options and variety out there, home fitness equipment is just too important and complicated to rate on a singular system. So we hope that you find our review of home rowers to be clear, helpful and sufficient in making your important investment decision!

Our top picks for the 5 best home rowing machine products under $500 reviewed here are:

  1. Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine
  2. XTERRA Fitness ERG600W Water Rower
  3. Stamina Air Rower 1399
  4. Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine SF-RW5713
  5. Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

Author note: Detailed reviews for rowing machine products are continually evaluated as we keep an eye on home fitness equipment trends!


5 Reviewed: Best Rowing Machine Under $500

We kick off our home rower review list with Schwinn for several reasons. While the Swinn Crewmaster is just shy of your $500 budget cutoff, it has every reason to take you there. The Schwinn Crewmaster Rower is the company’s latest edition to the line-up. This model truly embodies the return on your investment that you’ve worked hard for and deserve.

Schwinn is well-known leader in the home fitness equipment industry because of their reliable, durable components along with high-quality comfort and design features that give you what you need in optimizing your home workout.

Highlights: That elusive combination of technology, comfort, design and functionality, for just under $500, is a steal. Although we would expect nothing less from Schwinn.

  • Generous size LCD screen and display for tracking metrics such as: time, count, distance, stroke, calories, recovery and pulse
  • Easy adjustable console ergonomically adapts to the user’s height, size and preferences
  • Simple to clean steal seat rail supports an oversized molded cushioned seat all designed for both stability and comfort
  • The convenient fold-up design stows the rail vertically for easy storage and cleaning
  • Durable nylon transmission offers quiet, yet powerful option for your home workout
  • Customize your workout intensity with 10 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Large footplates with straps for stable rowing
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Warranty: 10-year frame | 3-year parts| 1-year labor

The XTERRA Fitness ERG600W Water Rower is a really cool option for users looking to achieve a superior and natural full body workout. The overall experience you get from a water rowing machine is second to none. We chose the Xterra home rower model because it gives you the challenging yet zen-like natural rhythmic movement making your workout super effective and totally efficient and effective. The machine features durable, multi-bladed impellers that provide motion through the water tank creating the familiar peaceful sounds to the actual experience of rowing on the water. With a solid steel frame, the machine provides an easy to read water level guide on the tank to correlate with your desired resistance level.

While this model also is just shy under the $500 price point, keep in mind that XTERRA Fitness is know for several different categories of fitness equipment including treadmills, bikes, and elliptical trainers. This versatility and industry expertise allows them to pull from better technology and manufacturing resources to offer very competitive products.

Highlights: Working out on a water rower, particularly what you get from the ERG600W premium design and quality, offers users a mediative, fluid experience.

  • Multi-bladed impeller generates a soothing, meditative yet uniform stroke
  • Large LCD console features an easy height and angle adjustment for your customized viewing angle
  • The 5.5″ display keeps you motivated with all your important info such as: Total Time, 500M Time, Calories, Distance, Strokes, Strokes/Minute, Date, Room Temperature, Clock
  • Programs include: Race Against Computer, Time Countdown, Distance Countdown, Strokes Countdown, Calories Countdown
  • 6 resistance levels – determined by the amount of water used in the tank (check water level guide on tank for resistance level)
  • Raised seat height (13. 5″) allows you to easily move onto and off the rower
  • Ergonomic rowing handle and large contoured, padded seat which adjusts and maximizes comfort and performance
  • Easily adjustable “flex” pedals keep your feet strapped in yet move with you on every stroke
  • Fold up frame design to accommodate and free up space when needed
  • Dimensions: 80.7″ x 22″ x 33″ | Standing up 33″ x 22″ x 80.7″

Why you may not go with this one: While the rowers comes with a built-in heart rate receiver, the chest strap is sold separately.

The Stamina line of rowers is a great option if you are looking to for the best rowing machine under $500, yet would rather stay a little more financially conservative. The Stamina ATS Air Rower is a really effective yet affordable home rowing machine to maximize your cardiovascular exercise routine while stimulating your metabolism for weight maintenance or loss.

You of course will still have your LCD monitor and dynamic air resistance (so no water needed on this one) to tone and strengthen your muscles. This means the machine uses wind-based resistance and simply adapts to intensity you want and need. Additionally you get plenty of programmable and metric features to make your workout as efficient as possible (see below).

Highlights: The price is right in that the Stamina 1399 model not only has all of functionality you need to check off your list for a machine that delivers a full-body workout, it also folds or easy cleaning and convenient storage.

  • Total benefits from burning calories, building total body strength to improving your heart health.
  • Dynamic Air Resistance feature always matches your pace. Row harder if you desire more resistance and ease off if you want less.
  • Easy-to-ready LCD display monitor ensures you accurately track speed, distance, time and calories burned.
  • UPGRADED FEATURES include:
    • an upholstered, padded seat for maximum comfort
    • adjustable, pivoting footplates and a padded rowing handle help you stay in the zone during your most challenging workouts
    • built-in wheels with a folding frame make storage a super easy
  • Easy Assembly | Dimensions: 77″ x 18″ x 22″
  • Warranty: 3-year frame | 90-day parts

Why you may not go with this one: Maximum weight capacity is 250 lbs. whereas you can find some comparable models maximize at 300+ lbs.

View More Stamina Home Rowing Machine Models

So you want and need to effectively, safely and quickly improve your level of fitness? Also branded as the Obsidian Surge 500 Water Rowing Machine, the Sunny Health & Fitness Water Home Rowing Machine is such an awesome option and here’s why! The SF-RW5713 is a solid piece of equipment that supplies you with all of the features and quality you need to validate your home rowing machine investment.

“Studies indicate rowing works up to 85% of the body’s muscular system without the joint impact of other conventional cardio exercises. This in turn results in higher calorie expenditure in a shorter period of time,” Sunny Health & Fitness. This model is not only known to have easy assembly, with the water based resistance, every pull is fluid and smooth. The rower can also be stored upright with the water still in it.

Highlights: The Sunny Health Obsidian Surge 500 is built to last. No wobbling, no worries. Levelers are located on the bottom and adjust with your floors by turning the leveler to match the floor. Expect a safe, vigorous yet totally fluid workout without back or joint impact.

  • Water provides a natural, smooth and steady rowing experience with every stroke for instant resistance
  • 16 durable hydro blades, that resist rust, mimic the dynamic movements of competitive rowing
  • Non-slip, sweat resistant handle bar is wide enough to accommodate different hand widths
  • Ergonomically molded and padded seat designed for maximum comfort and functionality. Additionally, the high-profile seat is design to allow users to get on and off the seat without strain.
  • R2 Fitness Meter designed to accurately track a wide array of important metrics i.e. Total Time, 500M Time, SPM, Total Strokes, Calories, Heart Rate, Ambient Temperature, etc.
  • High density non-marking rubber wheels for easy transport and upright storage

Why you may not go with this one: Maximum user weight capacity is 250 lbs. Manufacturer recommends the rowing machine to be placed upright against the wall for storage.

Stamina produces an extensive line of rowing machines so no surprise they appear twice on our home rower reviews. While space savings is not the only great feature about the Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine, if you are a little short on real estate, this model is definitely a serious contender. We revisit Stamina as a part of the best home rowing machines under $500 because this is where you get all of the features you need with a great design bang for your buck.

The Stamina 35-1215 mimics rowing on the water which gives users the natural, fluid movement you darn well should expect from a hydraulic resistance rower.

Highlights: Notice something different on this one? Yes, the Orbital’s Free Motion Arms allow you to while accommodating any size room and investment.

  • Full range-of-motion rowing yet compact for small spaces
  • Smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance; adjustable tension controls
  • Single button monitor displays speed, distance, time, row count, calories burned, and miles rowed
  • Thick, padded seat; pivoting foot plates
  • Dimensions: 48″ x 32.5″ x 27.75″ | Some assembly needed
  • Warranty: 5-year frame | 90-day parts

Why you may not go with this one: With the free motion arms feature, using proper form to really maximize your workout plus avoid injury is more essential than ever.

Visit our Shop & Own It Store’s Home Rower Department


7 Health Benefits to Exercising on a Home Rowing Machine

We love this part, because while it’s exciting to go over all of the bells and whistles of each product on our list of the best rowing machine under $500, here’s where we look at the bigger picture – the life changing benefits and return on your investment!

7 Health Benefits from a Home Rower

  1. Cardiovascular Health – Due to the repetitious, aerobic nature of a rowing machine, your heart and lungs benefit. So rev up the resistance or keep it casual, either way, you will break a sweat while supporting and/or improving your heart health.
  2. Upper Body Training – an effective way to build muscle, strength train or simply tone up your upper body. Every stroke improves your arms, shoulders, chest and back will all keep the benefits of a rowing workout. Keep in mind your glutes and lower back will thank you too.
  3. Supports Back and Improves Posture – Building stronger back muscles and shoulders not only improves you overall posture, this type of foundation results in reduced back pain – a huge benefit for many back pain sufferers.
  4. Burns Fat and Calories – Consistent rowing exercise helps you not only target certain muscles, it’s a super effective way to get rid of unwanted calories. As we all age we get the dreaded back fat that no matter how well you diet, seems to accumulate as our metabolism slows down, rowing is one of the best ways to target unsuspecting parts of the body.
  5. Safe, Low Impact Workout – One of the biggest reasons why rowing machines are so popular is that they provide a low impact yet highly effective and well-rounded workout routine. So if you suffer from various pain points or are concerned about injuries, there is no need to worry as rowers eliminate the harsh impact that other home gym equipment can have on your back and joints.
  6. Total Body Workout – Benefits like cardio health, strength building, calorie and fat burning, body sculpting, and low impact exercise are invaluable. There are few singular home workout machines that improve your overall health in a multitude of ways. Staying fit in heart, muscles, weight, and joints reduces your risk for disease and keeps you strong in both body and mind as you age.
  7. Variety of Workout Options – The best rowing machine under $500 or really within most budgets allow you options. So the awesome thing about home rowers is that anyone can benefit from this type of fitness equipment. There are so many options to accommodate age, weight and experience that one rower will benefit a household of users with all abilities and any fitness goals in mind.

What to Consider in a Home Rower Investment

There is certainly a lot to think about when shopping for a home rower. So we’ve narrowed it down some for you. Generally, there are overall 3 important considerations when looking for the best home rowing machine for your lifestyle. The good news here is that no matter what type of model you decide to proceed with, you can a $500 budget gets you a quality-type bang for your buck.

The first is: Does this rowing machine fold? If you have limited space or you simply want the convenience of opening up your room a little when you’re not working out, then you should have no problem finding a home rower that folds up. Many of us just want that accommodation of space to play with, so storage and real estate is an important priority. Just keep in mind that among the home rowing machines that fold you will probably need to choose a magnetic rower, which is a formidable choice either way. Folding rowing machines offer all of the functionality and quality you should expect from your home gym equipment investment.

Secondly, as you have seen in our review, deciding the type of resistance model may be a little confusing, so: Which type of home rower is best? While there are subcategories, you’ll find most uses either Magnetic or Progressive Resistance. Both should provide a smooth, natural and quiet rowing experience, so it simply comes down to preference here.

With a home rowing machine that features magnetic resistance, it allows you to preselect your resistance setting. So if you’re the type who needs to know in advance what your workout challenge will be and measure that each time, the resistance model is for you. A home rower with this type of resistance supplies a magnetic break in the spinning flywheel to create the resistance. It also provides those with pre-programmed workout options.

Magnetic Home Rower Models:

Progressive air/fluid resistance machines make you the self-imposed catalyst for a challenging workout. In other words, a progressive model produces increased resistance as a result of the harder and faster you pull. This is due to either hydraulics or compression of air or fluid (hence that smooth rowing on water experience). While you these rowers make noise, most find these types of sounds natural and even zen-like.

Air Home Rower Models:

The third consideration in buying a home rowing machine is: How much should I invest in rowing equipment? This is exactly the reason we first decided to focus on the best rowing machine under $500 in budget. If you are within this price point, you’re in good shape to find a quality, durable machine at an affordable price. Take comfort in knowing that this is a solid budget range for finding best rowing machine products on the 2019 home fitness equipment market. It’s certainly a crucial factor to be able to combine quality, preference, fitness goals all within your level of affordability.


Watch Brief Video on Rowing Exercise Tips & Benefits

Take a look at this quick manufacturer video by Stamina Fitness. They talk about the multitude of total body health benefits to a home rowing machine as well as provide some helpful user tips, techniques and product demonstrations.


The Best Home Rower Decision is the One That Best Fits Your Needs

While rowing is one of the best and most effective exercises for building a strong back at the same time supporting you cardiovascular health, not all home rowers are created equal. Remember the key is that you invest in a home gym machine that you’re confident will push your heart rate to levels that sufficiently increase your metabolism, tone your muscles and burn calories safely and efficiently. A home rower machine investment is proven to give you a superior aerobic workout while dramatically reducing your risk of injury. This is notably due to that lack of relentless pounding to your back and joints.

Yet shopping for the best rowing machine under $500 shouldn’t be torture or leave you in a bundle of confusion! While there are a lot of options and choices out there, yes, it’s easy to suffer from analysis paralysis, we hope our research helped save you some time and stress. The home rowing machine is one of the few fitness products that efficiently combine critically important physical and health benefits without sacrificing too much money and real estate. With the worthy brands we’ve shared, one thing is for sure, you cannot go wrong with any of these rowing machines. It all comes down to preference!


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