When it comes to full-body exercises, there are few gym machines that can beat a rowing machine. This transformative apparatus brings the rigors of water rowing right to your door, unlocking the potential for extensive home workouts, and the best part is that you don’t have to spend a dime over $400 to grab yourself a worthy rower.
There are several types of rowing machines in the market, ranging from affordable magnet wheelers to beastly water rowers. Regardless of design, though, each form of rowing machine simulates the natural movements involved in rowing; a sport known for its demanding physical motions. Whether you seek casual exercise or hyper-athletic routines, the rowing machine has an appropriate workout for you. Like most exercise equipment, a rower is judged based on its hardware specifications, functionality, and ease of storage.
While the best rowers, including those you typically see in a gym, cost between $800 and $2000, there are plenty of budget options available for home gym owners. After an extended dive into the current market, we were able to find some reliable rowers priced modestly for their performance. Discover below our reviews of the top 3 rowing machines under $400!
Best Rowing Machines under $400 (Comparison)
|ECHANFIT Rowing Machine Foldable - ( Editor's Choice)||Magnetic||Check Price|
|MaxKare Water Rowing Machine||Water||Check Price|
|FITNESS REALITY 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower||Magnetic||Check Price|
Echanfit has engineered a model gym machine in their Foldable Indoor Rower. This magnetic rowing machine carries a space-conscious design and powerful mechanical profile, furnishing the convenience and reliability of expensive exercise equipment at a sub-$400 price tag.
Constructed from robust industrial metals, the Echanfit rowing machine is a black, 75.2” long beast. Its build quality is apparent in the tough tubular components. It relies on magnet-based resistance to fuel the rowing momentum. You can adjust the resistance by 16 different levels to modify your workout intensity. You won’t find such an extensive magnetic flywheel even in top workout machines, let alone a rower under $400. Its 45-inch rail makes it suitable for people of all physical statures, even those taller than 6’2”. The problem with such advanced gym equipment is that they invade precious amounts of real estate, but the Echanfit rowing machine has managed to limit its space consumption through its foldable design. Once you are done exercising, just swing the rail up and roll it into a corner on integrated front wheels.
As compared to most exercise machines in its price range, the Echanfit Foldable Rower is exceedingly durable. Despite possessing a foldable design, its construction held up unflinchingly during testing. The weight is precisely balanced across the body, which minimizes wobbling and wear-and-tear. It can host people with a weight up to 265 pounds, an astonishing feat for such a low-priced seated row machine. In terms of noise, the flywheel performed with outstanding silence, laboring on quietly during long workouts. However, the seat did emit occasional screeches that could be distracting for some.
Echanfit has loaded its Rowing Machine with a plethora of convenience features. There is a built-in bottle holder situated conveniently across the rail, right beneath the Phone/tablet holder. It lets you keep amenities close and engage with the phone without having to leave and disrupt your cardio workouts. The rower pedals are built to accommodate large shoe/foot frames. There are additional straps glued to each pedal that lock your foot securely, eliminating the risk of ankle strains. You can track your activity, including speed, distance, RPM, and strokes through the built-in LCD monitor. It does not calculate the water distance rowed, though, unlike high-tech rowing machines. Regardless, such a specialized support palette makes the Echanfit Rowing Machine one of the best home workout equipment for casual and advanced athletes alike.
|265 pounds weight capacity||The seat can be loud at times|
|Foldable body||Does not calculate distance rowed|
|45-inch rail length|
|Advanced, 16-level magnetic resistance|
|Built-in bottle and phone holder|
Echanfit’s Foldable Rowing Machine employs an exceptional, 16-level magnetic resistance system to provide the most sensational home rowing experience you can get under $400. The machine is adorned with handy functionalities like a phone/bottle holder, strapped pedals, foldable body, and rolling wheels that will eliminate the hassles associated with home gyms. Its mighty body adds a final touch of durability, making it the best rowing machine on our list.
The MaxKare Rowing Machine utilizes a luxurious water-resistance system that you don’t expect to see in a budget buying list. It is designed to lay intense cardio exercises at your disposal, backed by a set of specialized, athletic-level features that will have you swiping your card in an instant.
MaxKare’s alloy steel frame is integrated with a clear water compartment carrying the flywheel machinery. Unlike a magnetic rowing machine, the MaxKare water rower invokes the exact physical response you would get in a real rowboat. The harder you pull the rower, the more resistance is generated by the water. Magnetic flywheels operate on fixed tension settings that provide constant amounts of resistance, regardless of your efforts. This is the key difference that makes a water rowing machine superior, and more expensive, to a magnetic rower. Its realistic simulation opens up the pathway to effective HIIT training, a form of intermittent, resistance-based exercise.
HIIT workouts bump up your cardiovascular endurance with greater efficiency as compared to typical cardio exercises, but such demanding workouts are almost impossible to carry out at home without spending agonizing amounts at the gym equipment store. This is what renders the MaxKare Water Rowing Machine, with its humble price tag, so desirable. If you seek to engage in a professional, endurance-centric training regimen at home without draining your savings, invest in the MaxKare instead of chasing used gym equipment. MaxKare has programmed the machine with a reliable tracking system that monitors your speed, calories, SPM, and time. There is even a quirky “man-machine” competition mode to further heat up your training sessions.
The MaxKare rowing machine boasts 264 pounds of weight capacity and a 44-inch rail. Although it’s not as compact as a magnetic rower, owing to its non-foldable design and 86lbs bulk, the machine is easy to move due to its front-panel wheels. Its supportive beams are conjoined with stabilizer units that make it level, even on uneven surfaces. Moreover, MaxKare has infused the machine’s handles and seats with generous amounts of padding, delivering the most comfortable rowing experience you can wish for.
|Realistic water-based resistance||Heavier than magnetic rowing machines|
|264lbs weight capacity||Not foldable|
|Cushioned seat and handles|
|Equipped with stabilizer units|
|LCD monitor for fitness tracking|
MaxKare’s Water rowing machine is a marvelous addition to any home. Its water-based resistance outpaces most rowers under $400, and when combined with the machine’s massive weight capacity (264lbs), impressive rail length, and cushioned frame, it solidifies MaxKare’s spot as the best budget rowing machine for rigorous workouts and professional training programs.
Fitness Reality has taken a unique approach to rowing with their 1000 PLUS model. This eccentric home rowing machine is loaded with an assortment of digital technologies that will transform your daily routine into an adventurous exercise journey.
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus is powered by a magnetic flywheel mechanism with 14 levels of resistance. It can support people with weights up to 250 pounds, which is remarkable for a budget rowing machine of its caliber. Its 39-inch rail length is suitable for people as tall as 6’6”. The 1000 Plus is constructed to be foldable, which can save you a significant amount of space when the rowing machine is not in use.
The best aspect of Fitness Reality 1000 Plus is its technological functionality. The machine is integrated with high-speed Bluetooth circuitry, enabling you to link the machine’s fitness tracking modules with your phone. Your distance, time, and calory measurements are channeled directly to your phone, ready to be analyzed by any android/iOS app you can find on the vast internet. Bluetooth functionality is a feature exclusively found in elite, $1500+ gym machines like Nordictrack, and availing it in a sub-400 dollar home rowing machine is simply unheard of. This is why the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus enjoys such immense popularity in the rowing machine industry.
Furthermore, Fitness Reality includes free access to the MyCloud Fitness app, which is not something you will get from a cheap rowing machine for sale. MyCloud Fitness app provides 24/7 workout schedules, expert-led training programs, and virtual reality video routes to turn a boring exercise session into the most fun, effective workout you will ever have. Just place your phone/tablet in the machine’s built-in device holder and engage endlessly with exclusive global content.
Moreover, the 1000 Plus rowing workout machine delivered a stunning performance in each dimension. Although its maximum resistance setting falls shorter than most rowers, the machine beat the competition with its silent operation. It is armed with an innovative front-panel footpad that lets you execute several exercises that most other rowing machines do not support. Such outstanding dexterity is what makes the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus one of the best budget rowing machines in the market.
|Front stabilizer foot pads||Uncomfortable seat|
|Bluetooth functionality with free MyCloud Fitness app||Limited resistance setting|
|Easy to assemble|
|Built-in device holder|
Fitness Reality has outdone themselves with the 1000 Plus rowing machine. Its integrated Bluetooth functionality and MyCloud access make it the perfect rower for beginners, who can utilize expert training routines 24/7. With a notable 250lbs weight capacity and noiseless movement, this rowing machine is a worthy investment for any home gym.
FINAL VERDICT – EDITOR’S CHOICE
Each of our top 3 picks brings a distinctive rowing experience to your home. While the MaxKare rower excels through realistic water-based resistance, the Fitness Reality machine serves up advanced Bluetooth functionality and unmatched operational silence. The title of the best rowing machine, however, is won fairly by Echanfit’s Foldable Rower.
The Echanfit Rowing Machine is a powerhouse of magnetic resistance with 16 levels of optimization. Its splendid weight capacity (265 pounds) merged with this resistance caliber to beat Fitness Reality 1000 Plus, which lacked slightly in both areas. Meanwhile, Echanfit was matched neck to neck by MaxKare in terms of intensity and capacity. Being foldable and compact, though, the Echanfit rower outstripped MaxKare’s bulky frame. Considering such multi-dimensional finesse, it is no surprise that Echanfit Foldable Rower stands as the best rowing machine under the $400 horizon.