Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 01, 2021
Wise Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
A rowing machine is a terrific piece of home workout equipment that can help you lose weight, tone your muscles, and improve your strength and stamina levels too. Plus, with so many great rowing machines at affordable prices, you don’t even need to pay big bucks for all of those advantages.
Our review team looked at 38 of the best rowing machine under 300 options on the market today, finding the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 to be the best pick for most people. With its large LCD console providing a range of information, a super long slide rail to accommodate all users, and easily adjustable resistance levels to put your muscles to the test, it’s the ultimate home workout device. We also looked at four more of the best rowing machines under $300 to suit all needs and budgets.
We spent many hours evaluating and analyzing the quality of each of these affordable rowing machines. In order to identify the very best models, we looked at several different factors, starting off with the amount of resistance levels, as this shows how versatile the machine really is and how many ways it can be used to train and exercise your muscles. We looked at the inseam and slide rail lengths too, as these measurements help to determine who can use the machine comfortably. We also considered the maximum weight capacity for each machine, along with its size, weight, and any extra features too. The table below shows the top options we found, followed by detailed reviews of each one and an in-depth buying guide.
"Available at a terrific price, this machine looks, feels, and functions like something far more high-end and expensive. It’s a really classy and large machine while folded out, but can later be folded back up and stored away conveniently."
"The Stamina Rower absolutely stands out for its affordability and simplicity. But it offers five total levels of resistance and a comfortable, padded seat so you won’t feel any aches or pains while using it."
First up on our list of the best rowing machines under 300, we have the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515. Available at a terrific price, this machine looks, feels, and functions like something far more high-end and expensive. It’s a really classy and large machine while folded out, but can later be folded back up and stored away conveniently around the home.
It features a fully padded seat, non-slip foot pedals, and comfortable foam grip handlebars, so comfort was clearly a very big and important factor for the makers of this particular machine and you can use it for a long time without feeling any aches or issues, making it a great choice for those who perhaps don’t usually do a lot of exercise or worry about feeling uncomfortable on a rower.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 offers 8 different resistance levels, which isn’t quite as many as some of the other options out there, but still enough to give you a varied workout. It also features long rails, ideal for taller people and those who want the widest and longest possible strokes.
Next up, we have another one of our favorite rowing machines under 300: the MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine. One of the first things to note about this rower is the amazing amount of resistance levels it offers. It has 16 different levels in total, really giving you a wide variety of options to suit all strength and stamina levels.
Along with its many resistance levels, the MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine also comes with a large LCD panel to show you a lot of different data like how many calories you’ve burned, how much time you’ve been rowing, and how many strokes you’ve managed to do so far. It’s a great aid for anyone working towards their fitness goals.
The MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine also comes with impressively long rails, perfect for people up to 6’5″ in height. It has paddled handles and a cushioned seat too, as well as non-slip pedals for your comfort and convenience. The only downside is that it can get a little noisy, according to the opinions of some users.
Here’s another terrific rowing machine under 300 from one of the best brands in the business: Sunny Health & Fitness. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 proves that you really don’t need to spend big in order to get a great rower. All of the rowers on this list can be classed as ‘affordable’, but this one is super cheap at under $100, making it a real bargain buy.
Naturally, since it’s such a low priced option, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is a little more basic than some of the others out there. It doesn’t have a big fancy LCD screen or super long rails, but it still gives you all you need from a high quality rower, including 12 levels of resistance and a digital monitor to track various aspects of your workout like time, stroke count, calories, and more.
The pedals of the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 come with comfortable straps to keep your feet in place and the foam handlebars, combined with the cushioned seat, help to provide some much-needed comfort for those longer workout sessions. At just 20.5 lbs, this is also one of the lightest rowers on the market.
Another amazing option from Sunny Health & Fitness is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1410. Measuring up at just 59 x 29 x 21.25 inches and suitable for users of up to 220 lbs, this rowing machine is one of the most compact and convenient of all. It’s really easy to store around the home without taking up too much space, and it’s also a great piece of exercise equipment you can rely on for years to come.
Built from top quality materials, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1410 offers an impressive 12 levels of easily adjustable resistance. It comes with a thick padded seat for your comfort, along with non-slip handlebars and non-slip pedals with adjustable foot straps to suit all users.
The full motion arms allow you to get all of your muscles involved in the workout, including arms, shoulders, glutes, legs, and abs, while the built-in display provides updates on your time, strokes, and calories too. It’s a very effective piece of equipment that is easy to set up and fun to use, with long enough rails to cater to taller people too, although shorter users might find the rails a bit too big.
Last but not least, we come to the Stamina Rower, and if you’re just looking for a basic and simple model that lets you enjoy rowing at home without the need to spend big or invest in a huge and complicated device, this really is all you need. The Stamina Rower absolutely stands out for its affordability and simplicity. Unlike some of the other entries on our list, it doesn’t boast any fancy features or detailed digital screens.
Instead, it’s just a pure and simple rower, made of strong, solid steel for maximum durability and weighing in at under 30 lbs, making it super lightweight and perfectly portable for use all around the home. It offers five total levels of resistance and a comfortable, padded seat so you won’t feel any aches or pains while using it.
It also features a small but useful monitor that shows some basic data like distance rowed, total workout time, rowing speed, and calories burned. In short, it tells you all you really need to know, without the need for any large LCD screens or fancy touch controls. It’s a no frills design that can work for anyone, with an impressively high weight capacity of 250 lbs.
Regular exercise is a vital part of leading a happy and healthy life, and if you don’t have the time or desire to hit the gym, having your own workout equipment at home can be very convenient. A rowing machine has the unique advantages of offering a full-body workout that almost anyone can do, and you’ve already seen some of the very best inexpensive rowing machine options on our list. This buying guide will tell you a little more about how rowing machines work and what you should be looking for when shopping for one of your own.
What to expect from a rowing machine under $300
If you’re thinking about buying a rowing machine, you’ll probably have already seen that many of the models on the market are quite high end, with price tags going up to and even over $1,000. Fortunately, as this list of affordable rowing machine options shows, it’s perfectly possible to find a great rowing machine for less than $300, as well as with other types of equipment, for example treadmills under 300$. Among roweres the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 is a good example of such an affordable quality.
So, if you choose to buy a rowing machine under $300, you should expect to get a solid and sturdy piece of exercise equipment, but you need to know that it obviously won’t have all the same frills and features as some of the high-end models. The most expensive rowing machines offer integrated touchscreen tablets, video screens, and all kinds of state-of-the-art technology. The best budget rowing machine, meanwhile, simply lets you exercise in the exact same way, but offers a more simplistic design.
Features to consider while choosing a rowing machine under $300
Before buying a budget rowing machine, we recommend taking the time to read some reviews, shop around, and compare your options to see what’s on offer. There are many great rowing machines out there at attractive and affordable prices, but you need to think about which factors are most important for you.
If you’re a larger person, for example, you’ll need to find a machine with the right rail length to suit your arms and legs. If you’re someone who wants to really push yourself, it helps to find a machine with lots of resistance levels. Read on to learn about the key factors to consider when choosing your rowing machine.
Definitely one of the most important factors of all is the resistance levels. Every rowing machine offers some kind of resistance. This is what you have to work against, using your muscles to pull yourself back, just like a real rower, burning calories and building strength in the process.
As you get stronger, you can increase the resistance to the next level, giving you a tougher workout and pushing yourself further each time.
When it comes to resistance levels, there’s one golden rule to know: the more, the better. Having more resistance levels allows you to switch between a greater range of workouts, adjusting on the fly and really putting your body to the test. It also gives you a target: you can start off at the first level and then slowly work your way up. Some models have way more levels than others; the MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine, for example, has 16 total resistance levels.
Rail length is another factor to think about whenever you choose to shop for a rowing machine. This basically tells us how long the rails are on the machine, which can be a very important feature, especially if you’re a larger or taller person. If you’re quite tall, you’ll need a machine with long rails, like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515, in order to be able to fully extend your arms and legs and get the right effects out of your rowing workout.
In general, anyone over 6 feet or 180cm in height should be paying special attention to the rail length when buying a rowing machine and aim to find a model with 45+ inches of rails in general. The longer the rails, the better. Even for shorter people, this is still an important factor, as longer rails allow you to move back and forth further with each stroke, getting a wider range of motion and putting more of your body into each movement.
Next, as well as considering the rail length and resistance levels, you have to think about the weight capacity of your chosen rowing machine as well. This is another very important factor, especially if you’re a heavier person wanting to work out and lose some weight or get in shape.
Be sure to check your weight, and the weight of anyone else wanting to use the machine, and ensure you find a model that matches up.
Every rowing machine has a maximum weight capacity and some are much lower than others. Fortunately, there are some machines with very high weight capacities, like the Stamina Rower, which can support users of up to 250 lbs, or the MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine, which is fine for users of over 260 lbs.
Dimensions and weight
As well as thinking about your own weight and the maximum weight capacity of your chosen rower, you also need to think about how much the machine itself actually weighs, as well as how big it is.
Let’s start off by talking about weight. Home rowing machines can vary in weight from as low as about 20 lbs, as seen on the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205, to hundreds of pounds. Naturally, having a heavier machine can be more challenging, as it becomes more difficult to set the machine up in the first place and move it around.
If you choose a lightweight machine, like the Stamina Rower, which weighs less than 30 lbs, you can move it around much more easily. This allows you to simply pick it up and pack it away whenever you’re not using it, rather than needing to get another person to help you lift it or simply leaving it out at all times.
Then, there’s the size. Again, just like with the weight, some rowing machines are much smaller and more compact in their designs, while others are quite large and bulky. Most people prefer a smaller machine, like the Stamina Rower, which measures up at just 56.5 x 23.5 x 19.5 inches.
The advantage of a smaller machine is that it takes up less space in your home, meaning you can leave it set up without needing to worry about losing room, or you can pack it away in a closet or storage container, or even under your bed. There are also some foldable machines out there, like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515, which are way smaller when folded up, and very attractive when the price is concerned among all the best magnetic rowing machines.
Don’t forget to think about the warranty of your chosen rowing machine too. If you’re going to be using it often and putting it to the test, there’s always a possibility that something could go wrong and your machine might encounter some kind of technical fault or failure. If this happens, it always helps to know that the manufacturer has your back and will pay up to cover the costs of repairs or replacements. Some machines don’t come with any warranty but the MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine offers a full year of protection.
Last but not least, you need to think about the price as well. If you’re looking for the best rowing machine under $300, it’s probably because you want to save money, so you should definitely consider a few different options and look at the various price tags. Some machines are around $250 to $300, but it is possible to find a great rower for less than $100, like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205, which is also the editor’s choice among the best hydraulic rowing machines.
Experts agree that rowing machines are one of the very best pieces of exercise equipment you can buy, offering a whole range of potential health benefits. First of all, they offer a full-body workout, getting your legs, arms, shoulders, upper body, and core muscles all involved in each movement, and this really helps to build strength and tone your muscles too. Not only that, but working out on a rowing machine is an amazing way to work up a sweat and start shedding some pounds, with many calories being burned in each session. Since you’re getting so many muscles involved in a typical rowing workout, it’s also a great way to raise your stamina levels and can be perfect for those who want to feel stronger and fitter, improving bloodflow around the body and strengthening their heart and lungs too.
In general, it’s always wise to speak to your doctor or other health professional before you start any new form of exercise to ask for their advice and recommendations. People who have preexisting conditions or injuries should especially be aware of this and speak with a professional to learn more about any risks they might be facing. Fortunately, a simple home rowing machine like the Stamina Rower shouldn’t pose any major health risks to most people, as long as you follow the instructions and use it the right way. If you have bad posture or bad technique while using the rower, it could lead to pain in the arms, shoulders, back, and knees, but if used properly, these areas will become much stronger over time. If you experience any intense pain or discomfort from riding the rower, be sure to stop and speak to a doctor before continuing.
Overall, our favorite rowing machine under 300 is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515. Built from top quality materials and offering amazing value for money, this rower looks and feels far more expensive than it really is. It features a large LCD screen for your convenience, long rails, comfortable pedals, and a convenient folding design too.
The second best rowing machine under 300 is the MaxKare Magnetic Rowing Machine. One of the key features of this model is its resistance levels. It has 16 of them in total, letting you enjoy a great range of options during your workouts and really adapt your exercise sessions to suit your stamina and strength levels. And it is also considered to be one of the most affordable foldable rowing machines on the market today.
Our third top rated cheap rowing machine is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205. Proving that great rowing machines don’t have to cost a lot of money, this is our Budget Pick, available for less than $100. It’s an amazingly affordable machine, fitted with 12 levels of resistance and even a digital monitor to track your workout progress on the fly.